EPA plans next phase of creek clean-up

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) — People in Niagara County can speak up tonight about the EPA’s plan to clean up a contaminated creek. The government estimates it will take $23 million to complete phase two of the Eightenmile Creek project.

This segment focuses on a one mile stretch from Upson Park, north to Harwood Street. That includes several industrial properties, like White Transportation and the former United Paperboard Company.

It’s a complicated clean-up because even the EPA doesn’t know the exact source of the industrial contamination that dates back decades.

Last year News 4 watched workers tear down homes on Water Creek that were adjacent to the creek. That included buying out five families. That first phase also included demolishing the old Flintkote Plant .

Neighbors could barely contain their excitement. Shirley Nicholas was estatic, telling us it was important, “…especially for the children because they used to jump that fence [at the plant.] You know fences don’t keep kids in.”

The concern here involves potentially cancer-causing PCB’s and heavy metals buried in the creek’s sediment. Arsenic and chromium levels create a “moderate risk for cancer,” according to a 2014 assessment from the department of health.

The EPA listed the creek on its National Priorties List in 2012. You can share your thoughts on the clean-up at 7PM at the 4-H Training Center, at the Niagara County Fairgrounds at 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport.

The EPA will also accept written comments through the end of September.

Jaclyn Kondrk, Remedial Project Manager

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

290 Broadway, 20th Floor

New York, New York 10007

212-637-4317

kondrk.jaclyn@epa.gov

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