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$11M environmental cleanup coming to Fuhrmann Blvd

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Another cleanup from this area's history of iron and steel-making is about to start. The Department of Environmental Conservation is taking bids next Tuesday on a project to clean up an area at the intersection of Fuhrmann and Tifft. The cost: $11 million.

The 20-acre site was home to Donner-Hanna, Hanna Furnace and Shenango Ingot Mold, industries which left behind metal-contaminated debris.

"We're doing what we call a large 'hog-and-haul.' We are going to remove soil and dispose of it off-site and then we are going to restore the site to grade and move on from there," said DEC Remediation Bureau Director Michael Cruden.

The plan calls for a contractor to dig up and haul away 75,000 cubic yards of contamination from part of the larger site. In its place, 86,000 yards of clean fill will be left behind, allowing for the site to be re-used, likely as a "commercial industrial area," Cruden said. 

The site can't be used for residential purposes. Cruden says the project is slated to be finished very late this year or early next year. It's up to the contractor to decide where the contaminated soil will go.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.