• LaBella Associates

Engineer's Week: Tackling Decades of Pollution on the Waterfront


All week, we've been highlighting some of the problem-solving our engineers perform every day. In our final E-week post, we'll share two recently completed Brownfield Cleanup projects. Both sites were heavily polluted from decades of industrial use, and in close proximity to waterways. Our engineers develop feasible solutions to remove contamination and protect our waterfronts.

Certificate of Completion Awarded for Two Waterfront Brownfield Sites

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has issued a Certificate of Completion for the Former Monoco Oil Site in Pittsford, NY and the Pinnacle North Multi-Brownfield Site in Canandaigua, NY.

Former Monoco Oil Site

LaBella assisted Mark IV Enterprises in entering this site, located on the Erie Canal, into the NYSDEC Brownfield Cleanup Program in August of 2007. The site was developed in the mid-1920s as a storage and distribution center for petroleum products. Around 1980, the site was reconfigured for the storage and distribution of liquid asphalt and fertilizer.

LaBella completed a remedial investigation which identified several environmental concerns associated with the historical use of the site. Beginning in 2010, LaBella conducted Interim Remedial Measures which included the disposal of over 52,000 tons of contaminated soil and the removal of three underground storage tanks.

The 7.5 acre waterfront site is now ready for redevelopment.

Canandaigua “Pinnacle North” Multi-Brownfield Site

LaBella assisted LeChase Construction with the remediation of this 15.5 acre site, located on the north end of Canandaigua Lake, which was conducted through the NYSDEC Brownfield Cleanup Program. Several gas stations, a laundry business, and a mobile home park, as well as various motels and restaurants were previously located on the site. LaBella coordinated remediation of petroleum, metals, pesticide, PCB, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon contamination in numerous areas of the site.

LaBella conducted several Interim Remedial Measures beginning in 2015. These included the excavation and disposal of over 11,000 tons of contaminated soil and the removal of 17 underground storage tanks. A cover system was placed across the entire site.

The Pinnacle North Development is currently underway and will include mixed-use commercial properties including restaurants as well as residential buildings.

Each Brownfield site has unique problems to be addressed. For the former Monoco Oil Site, we had to contend with an active rail line adjacent to the site. We addressed this with a product recovery trench, designed to recover petroleum that remained in soil that couldn't be disturbed. The adjacency of the Erie Canal to the site also resulted in additional project controls to ensure site debris didn't travel to the waterway.

Western New York is lucky to have abundant natural water resources. Waterfront cleanups are among our favorite types of projects because they benefit the community in so many ways. These projects not only provide economic benefits to the community but allow for a greater enjoyment of these natural resources and protect the waterways by removing waterfront contamination.

A simple way to think about environmental engineering is the overlap between chemical engineering and civil engineering. My engineering degree is in chemical engineering, and certainly the impact of chemicals on water and soil present a variety of challenges that we try to solve each day.

#environmental #Engineerweek

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