The boiler room debris of the former Diaz Chemical Facility in Holley is sprinkled down to contain the dust from demolition. Warehouse #4, to the left, is the next-to-last building scheduled to be torn down by the end of May, along with the production facility building, Area C, connected to the warehouse on the south and east side. To date, eight buildings have been demolished along with four storage areas. The EPA people will stay on site, after the planned demolition of buildings is finished in May, to maintain security, dress up the property, wash the remaining buildings and continue to operate the water treatment system to purify water contained in seven underground wells. “There will be a reduced work force on site, starting in June, to perform the follow-up efforts; we are dead on schedule,” U.S. EPA On-Scene Coordinator Kevin Matheis said. Photograph by Walter Horylev.

Kevin Matheis (left) points to the area on the site map where the latest demolitions are taking place. According to Kevin, the two remaining buildings, the warehouse and the production facility, should be demolished and the debris removed by the end of May. So far over 9,000 drums, nearly 10 miles of facility piping, over 370 tons of scrap metal, over 400 cubic yards of debris and over 500 tons of contaminated concrete have been removed from the site. Full-scale removal operations began in August 2003; the removal of buildings started in October 2006. The contaminated material was disposed of at a site in Model City, NY in Niagara County; the “clean” material was taken to the Swift River Association in North Tonawanda, NY. Photograph by Walter Horylev.

Clean up continues at Diaz site in Holley

So far, close to $9 million has been spent in the clean-up efforts at the site of the former Diaz plant in the Village of Holley. The clean-up started with daily inspections of drums, tanks, piping and maintenance of the facility. EPA expanded its operations in August 2003 to include removal of all hazardous substances within the pipes and from the facility. It is now in the process of demolition of 60 percent of the buildings on site.

Holley Mayor John Kenney said village officials have been in almost constant contact with local EPA officials throughout the process. “We were told the demolition and hauling away of debris should be complete by the end of June,” Kenney said. “They (EPA officials) have been very good about answering our questions, addressing health concerns and keeping us up to date on the procedures.”

Kenney said village officials are also working with EPA officials to see if the infiltration in the Jackson Street sewers are a result of the Diaz contamination.

April 29, 2007