Seaway formerly utilized sites remedial action program site update

Published Dec. 21, 2017
Excavating a test pit in the Seaway FUSRAP site Southside in May 2017.

Excavating a test pit in the Seaway FUSRAP site Southside in May 2017.

BUFFALO, NY–The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District recently completed an investigation to define the extent of Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP)-related contamination within the Seaway Southside area of the Seaway FUSRAP Site, located in Tonawanda, New York.

Analytical results from soil samples obtained from 15 investigation test pits in the Southside area of the site projected a 70 percent increase in soil volume requiring excavation and disposal. The FUSRAP-related soils form a lens measuring less than 1 foot thick that extended approximately 100 feet northwest of the previously identified area of contamination at a depth of around 12 feet beneath the landfill embankment.

The Corps of Engineers also completed work plans for the excavation and off-site disposal of the associated contaminated soils. Implementation of remedial action in Seaway Southside and the capping of Seaway Areas A, B, and C will occur later pending the completion of currently ongoing cleanups at other FUSRAP sites and the availability of program funding. Excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soil located beyond the landfill leachate containment system on the Seaway Northside was completed in fiscal year 2016.

In October 2009, a record of decision was signed for the Seaway Site, which identified Alternative 6 - Containment with Limited Offsite Disposal, as the selected remedy for the site. The selected remedy requires excavation of FUSRAP-related material outside the landfill boundaries (in Seaway Northside and Southside) that exceeds the cleanup criteria and requires shipping it off-site for disposal. It also requires the capping of Investigative Areas A, B, and C within the landfill boundaries.

The cap for the FUSRAP-related material will be constructed of multiple layers of various types of soil, fabric, and geomembranes at least 4.5 feet thick. Long-term monitoring of FUSRAP-related materials in capped areas, surveillance, and maintenance will be performed by the federal government. The federal government will ensure that land-use controls are in place to prevent future access to and disturbance of the contained FUSRAP-related materials. Implementation of the record of decision selected remedy will be protective of human health and the environment and comply with applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements.

The Seaway Site was operated as a landfill from 1930 to 1993, accepting a variety of municipal, commercial, construction, and industrial wastes. Nearby, in the 1940s, the former Linde Air Products Division of Union Carbide processed uranium ores under contract to the Manhattan Engineer District (MED). The mill tailings from the MED-related activities were transported from the Linde Site with some of the FUSRAP-related material subsequently being used as cover or grading material in select areas of the Seaway Landfill. Investigation of perimeter areas of the Seaway Landfill also found FUSRAP-related materials outside of the Seaway containment system (i.e., outside the area encompassed by the landfill's leachate collection system). These areas are referred to as the Seaway Northside and Southside areas.   

FUSRAP was initiated in 1974 to identify, investigate, and clean up or control sites throughout the United States that were part of the nation’s early atomic energy program. The Corps of Engineers, as lead federal agency for FUSRAP, follows the phased process required in CERCLA and the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan.  

The administrative record file for the Seaway FUSRAP Site is available on the web at, and by appointment at the Buffalo District Office Library, 1776 Niagara Street, Buffalo, New York.







Dr. Michael Izard-Carroll
716-368-2060 (cell)
1776 Niagara Street Buffalo, NY 14202

Release no. 17-023