DEC in talks with owner to clean up American Axle site


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Greg Glover has lived on Northumberland Avenue, right next to the old General Motors/American Axle complex for 32 years, going back to a time when his massive industrial neighbor was known for employing thousands of Western New Yorkers.

In that time, General Motors has closed the plant on E. Delavan Avenue, filed bankruptcy, and when toxic chemicals were discovered, paid the state $2.8 million for the cleanup and walked away.

Glover says it is time to get the toxins out, especially the cancer-causing PCB’s, “You have women and children. You are affecting generations of people, and we don’t want anybody hurt, bottom line, by this at all. We want it fixed, we want it done.”

PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyl) have turned up in storm water, in the soil, and in Scajaquada Creek, although the creek contamination has not been linked conclusively to the old industrial site.

The State Department of Environmental Conservation gave the owner of the former GM plant, East Delavan Property, LLC, an ultimatum: come up with a remediation plan by Monday, yesterday, or pay the price.

That deadline has come and gone, said Brian Borncamp of the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York, “DEC has said action is required, however for some reason, for the last couple of decades, DEC has not taken that required action to make their remediation happen on site.”

If the state has to take over, it would mean cleaning up the site, and passing the cleanup bill along to the property owner.

Glover just wants the property next door cleaned up, “History has shown what can happen to areas when toxins leak out. We don’t want that to happen to us, nor anybody within the city.”

East Delavan Property, LLC, has objected to being held fully accountable for the contamination since most of the hazardous chemicals were used before they bought the property.

Company representatives met with DEC officials, Monday in Albany, to come up with a remediation plan and as of Tuesday sources confirmed that plan is still a work in progress.

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