Hazardous Waste Cleanup: FMC Corporation in Middleport, New York
On this page:
- Site Description
- Contaminants at this Facility
- Site Responsibility
- Cleanup Status
The FMC facility occupies approximately 91 acres and is located in the southwest corner of the Village of Middleport in Niagara County, New York. It is surrounded by commercial properties to the south, agricultural properties to the east, residential properties and the Roy-Hart School to the north of the FMC plant site. The facility is now a pesticide reformulation and packaging plant that previously manufactured arsenic based and other pesticide products. Manufacturing operations ceased in Past waste management practices resulted in the on-site land disposal and spills of various pesticides and other chemicals involved in the manufacturing process. In addition, the manufacturing of inorganic pesticides in the past resulted in air emissions of hazardous metals (such as arsenic, lead). Hazardous waste and/or hazardous constituents from past on-site land disposal and air emissions have impacted soil, groundwater, surface water and sediments both on and in off-site areas.
Contaminants at this Facility
Investigations conducted at on-site and off-site areas have indicated that soils and sediments contain elevated levels of inorganic metals and pesticides, with the primary contaminant of concern being arsenic.
Groundwater investigations have identified elevated levels of inorganic metals, pesticides and certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the groundwater beneath the facility. Although groundwater migration is slow, the contamination has migrated minimally beyond the facility boundaries, but is contained.
The groundwater in the vicinity of the site is not being used as a drinking water .source by residences.
For this site, a comprehensive background study for arsenic in soils was conducted in nearby Lockport NY. This study established a site specific action/background level for arsenic in the soils of 20.0 ppm.
Site Responsibility at this Facility
The facility is subject to RCRA corrective action. FMC managed hazardous waste as part of its past operations. RCRA corrective action can be implemented under a RCRA permit, or as in this case, a RCRA Section 3008 (h) Administrative Order on Consent (AOC)
Under the terms of the order, EPA is the primary Agency charged with implementing the requirements of the AOC, subject to coordination with the New York State department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). Subsequent to the issuance of the AOC, the State of New York received authorization to implement the RCRA corrective action program, and as such is currently acting as the lead Agency for the site with support provided by EPA. In addition to its RCRA authorities, NYSDEC has also utilized its State Superfund authorities at the site. The NYSDOH, while not a signatory to the AOC, plays a significant role in the project in evaluating impacts to public health.
The AOC requires FMC to perform a comprehensive investigation and corrective measures studies to determine the nature and extent of contamination and measures to address contamination that is present above levels of concern. The AOC does not include the implementation of corrective measures. Any necessary corrective measures will be implemented pursuant to a RCRA permit, which NYSDEC is currently working on issuing. The RCRA permit for the FMC facility was public noticed in the fall of 2017 and NYSDEC is currently considering comments received.
In the interim and over the past several years, NYSDEC has performed remediation on a number of residential properties in the Village of Middleport and areas on the Roy-Hart Schoolyard. Additionally, a number of interim corrective measures have been implemented and others are being evaluated, pending the resolution of the legal dispute.In 2013, a Final Statement of Basis (Remedy Selection) was public noticed and issued by the NYSDEC for Operable Units (OUs) 2 (Air Deposition Area #1), 4 (Royalton-Hartland School property) and 5 (Culvert 105 area) to address environmental contamination related to FMCs past operations. These OUs are primarily located in the Village of Middleport and north of the plant site. The selection of the remedy by NYSDEC for these operable units has been disputed in court by FMC. A legal decision is still pending .