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Seaway Site

Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program

Buffalo District
Published Dec. 11, 2023
Updated: Dec. 11, 2023

The Seaway Site, located in Tonawanda, New York, 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 FUSRAP-related activities were transported from the Linde Site to the former Haist Property, now known as the Ashland 1 Site. During the mid-1970's, Ashland Oil constructed oil tanks on the Ashland 1 property. During the construction, materials containing radioactive residues were removed from the area and transported by Ashland Oil to the Seaway landfill and what was the Ashland 2 Site and used as cover or grading material. This material was also placed in what is now known as Seaway Areas A, B and C.

During the Corps' remediation efforts at Ashland 1, FUSRAP-related materials at elevated concentrations were found that appear to extend onto the Seaway Site. At one location, elevated concentrations appear to extend under the capped portion of the landfill. Remediation of this material as part of the Ashland 1 remediation ceased at the site boundary. This area is referred to as Seaway Southside. There is also an area on the north side of Seaway near Area A where, during Ashland 2 Site remediation efforts, elevated concentrations of FUSRAP-related materials were found outside of the Seaway containment system (i.e., outside the area encompassed by the landfill's leachate collection system). This area is referred to as Seaway Northside. Both Seaway Southside and Seaway Northside are now included within the scope of the FUSRAP remediation activities for the Seaway Site.

Project Status

In August 2008, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District released an addendum to the feasibility study prepared by the U.S. Department of Energy and a proposed plan for the Seaway FUSRAP Site. The comment period for the proposed plan was from August 25, 2008, to November 28, 2008. A public meeting to receive public comments was conducted on Wednesday, September 24, 2008.

In October 2009, the record of decision for the Seaway FUSRAP Site was approved.  Alternative 6 - Containment with Limited Off-Site Disposal, was identified as the selected remedy for the site. The comments received on the proposed plan during the public comment period and the responses to those comments were included in the responsiveness summary portion of the record of decision. The record of decision for the Seaway FUSRAP Site is available by clicking the link in the Reports section below. The record of decision and supporting documentation are available at the Seaway Site Administrative Record File link below.

The selected remedy 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. The selected remedy also includes excavation of FUSRAP-related material outside the landfill boundaries in the Seaway Southside and Northside areas that exceeds the cleanup criteria and requires shipping the excavated material off-site for disposal. The selected remedy in the record of decision will be protective of human health and the environment and comply with applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements.

In fiscal year 2015 the Buffalo District initiated excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soil located beyond the landfill leachate containment system on the Seaway Northside area. This removal was completed in fiscal year 2016 with a total of 1,121 cubic yards of material excavated and shipped off-site for disposal.

During fiscal year 2017 the Buffalo District completed an investigation to delineate the extent of FUSRAP-related contamination within Seaway Southside. 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 extends approximately 100 feet northwest of the previously identified area of contamination at a depth of around 12 feet beneath the landfill embankment.

Beginning in March 2020, the Buffalo District began performing the first five-year review of the Seaway Site selected remedy, which is required in CERCLA.  The first five-year review is complete and is available in the Reports section below.  A newsletter regarding the review process and findings is available in the News section link below. 

During fiscal year 2022, the Buffalo District will award a contract for the construction of the landfill cover.  Construction is currently scheduled to begin during fiscal year 2023.

Community Involvement

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District welcomes your input at any time. Our goal is to offer timely and meaningful opportunities for public input to our projects and to promote the dissemination of project information to the community. Public involvement activities complement the Corps' mission to address environmental contamination at the Seaway Site from past Manhattan Engineer District and Atomic Energy Commission activities.

News from the Corps

News from the Corps emails are sent periodically when we have new information regarding the Seaway FUSRAP Site. To receive News from the Corps, please email us at and ask to be added to our list.

1-800-833-6390 *4
478 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202
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