Organizations will provide progress update; invite public comments on continuing restoration of Buffalo River Area of Concern
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper will hold a virtual outreach event from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, to update the public about ongoing efforts to restore natural resources in the Buffalo River Area of Concern (AOC) and the proposed removal of the “Restrictions on Dredging Activities Beneficial Use Impairment” (BUI).
Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, in partnership with Erie County and DEC, coordinates these restoration efforts under the Buffalo River AOC remedial action plan (RAP).
The Buffalo River AOC is located in the City of Buffalo and includes the historically industrialized portion of the river beginning at its mouth (where it outlets to Lake Erie), and continuing upstream approximately six miles to the Bailey Avenue bridge.
A press release noted, “The ‘Restrictions on Dredging Activities’ BUI was originally designated as impaired in the 1980s due to elevated concentrations of multiple chemical contaminants in river sediments. Extensive remediation of contaminated river sediments and contaminant source areas along the river shoreline since that time, as well as subsequent contaminant monitoring, demonstrates that the criteria established to remove the ‘Restrictions on Dredging Activities’ BUI has been achieved.”
A draft report, which details the completed actions and assessments supporting the BUI removal, is available for public review at https://bnwaterkeeper.org/bui-7/. Public comments on the draft report and proposed BUI removal may be made at the Aug. 18 virtual event, and are also being accepted at Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper’s online portal on its website through Sept. 8.
To participate in the virtual event online, go to: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87564793714?pwd=TVFYajdjYzcvS1N5djdjYSt2VIJGUT09. The meeting ID is 875 6479 3714, and the passcode is 898568.
To join by telephone, dial 1-646-558-8656 and enter the meeting ID and passcode.
For more information on the Buffalo River AOC, visit https://bnwaterkeeper.org/projects/buffalo-river-projects/the-buffalo-river-area-of-concern/ and https://www.epa.gov/great-lakes-aocs/buffalo-river-aoc.