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Gastown site in Tonawanda certified to be clean

Gastown, a state Superfund property in the City of Tonawanda, will require continued monitoring but has met requirements for cleanup set by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the agency certified Wednesday.

Nine years ago, the DEC ordered National Fuel Gas to remediate contamination at the site, which was discovered by the nearby Gastown Sportsmen's Club in the early 1990s, according to state DEC documents.

Sportsman's Club members first contacted the DEC to report "an unknown oily product" found in a basement sump pump. Investigation revealed the substance was probably coal tar migrating from the adjacent manufactured gas plant.

Over the last two years, National Fuel completed the clean-up of the site, where a former gas manufacturing plant operated between the 1880s and early 1900s.

"National Fuel has been working with the DEC for years to develop and finance the remediation plan for a legacy site owned and operated by a predecessor company," said Karen L. Merkel, a National Fuel spokeswoman. "While National Fuel does not own or occupy the former Gastown site, we successfully remediated this historic site meeting all New York State environmental requirements in the process.

Merkel added: "National Fuel takes its responsibility to the environment very seriously and is proud to have participated in the remediation and revitalization of this site."

That clean-up included excavating contaminated soils to a depth of about six feet, isolating and solidifying deeper contamination, constructing underground trenches near the club and nearby Tonawanda Creek to eliminate further threats for migrating contamination and other work as required of National Fuel by the DEC's order.



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