Schumer: EPA Will Relocate Residents Along Eighteen Mile Creek
Lockport, NY (WBEN) Senator Charles Schumer says the EPA will relocate six residences along Eighteenmile Creek in Lockport that are routinely impacted by flood waters from the contaminated creek.
The creek is an EPA Superfund site, and Schumer says hazardous waste contamination is impacting residents along Water Street. He says the EPA's remediation plan includes relocating residents and buying contaminated property along the creek and taking remedial action to clean up the land.
Schumer says The cost to buy all the homes is estimated at only $250,000 but a temporary soil cap would cost approximately $1.2 million and could be washed away by future flooding.
“The EPA’s decision to move the residents away from contamination first, and then clean up the contaminated site is a smart choice for the health and safety of Western New Yorkers. I am pleased that the EPA has heeded my call and is proposing as part of their remedial action plan the relocation of these residents, which prioritizes safety and is the far more cost-effective option,” said Schumer. “This proposed solution takes these residents out of harms’ way, and avoids a course of action that would have left them exposed to hazardous contamination. These homeowners who have rightfully been concerned about contamination in their yards, drinking water, and flooded basements are now going to get the relief and peace of mind they deserve.”
Following five inches of rain June 28, Eighteenmile Creek – which is contaminated with PCBs, heavy metals and other hazardous materials – overflowed its banks into nearby properties. Some residents on Water Street report experiencing recurrent flooding, up to 8 to 10 times a year. The EPA recently held a public hearing during which a number of residents voiced their support for the inclusion of relocation in the remedial action plan. Schumer noted that this is a public health concern and relocation of the six homes should be included in any action plan, regardless of other strategies. Today the EPA announced that they would clean up nine homes along Eighteenmile Creek and purchase six of the properties – and relocate the residents – as a part of their first phase of remediation.