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DEC completes plan for remediation of Lockport dump

LOCKPORT – The state Department of Environmental Conservation last week announced its final plan for dealing with ash and runoff from the former Lockport city dump.

The plan, with a price tag of nearly $10.7 million, is expected to be paid by the state Superfund.

Although the ash is believed to have come from the burning of trash at the dump, which operated for about 30 years until it closed in 1951, there are no records to prove it. The department is searching for potentially responsible parties, DEC spokeswoman Megan Gollwitzer said.

The schedule for the work depends on how long DEC wants to pursue the search for dumpers at what is officially called the Old Upper Mountain Road Site.

The dump was located above a ravine in west Lockport in what is now called Gulf Wilderness Park.

The DEC’s plan is to shove some 200,000 cubic yards of ash into the bottom of the ravine and shape it into a slope that will hold a multilayer cap.

Before that is done, a ground water drainage and diversion system will be installed to prevent the water from building up under the cap. Also, a culvert covering about 800 feet of Gulf Creek, at the bottom of the ravine, is to be built to keep the ash out of the stream, which flows into Eighteen Mile Creek and then into Lake Ontario.

The work involving the ash and the cap is expected to take nine months, but a two-year timeline is anticipated to dig up other material to be placed under the cap.

That will include about 18,100 cubic yards of contaminated sediment, which will be excavated from Gulf Creek and de-watered at a facility to be built at the site, before being dropped in with the ash at the bottom of the ravine.

A major sewer line beneath the creek, called the Gulf interceptor, will need to be relocated, according to the DEC’s final “record of decision.”

It includes a portion of the old dump separated from the remainder by the Somerset Railroad, whose cleanup adds $345,000 to the cost.

The entire site is listed by DEC as a Class 2 inactive hazardous waste site, meaning one that poses a danger to public health.