Lackawanna incinerator under study

News and analysis by Dan Telvock, Investigative Post's environmental reporter

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has launched an investigation of the Lackawanna Incinerator Site on South Park Avenue that has already been noted to have high levels of lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, both carcinogens.

The DEC will determine the nature and extent of contamination to the soil, surface water and groundwater on the 1.57-acre property, as well as:

  • Identify sources of contamination.
  • Assess the impact any contamination is having on public health and the environment.
  • Provide information on proposed remedies.

According to a DEC fact sheet, the City of Lackawanna owns the property and uses it for its Public Works Department at 2960 South Park Ave. to park equipment and vehicles. The DEC says the city’s animal control department uses the basement of the northern incinerator for temporary caging of animals.

Two shuttered incinerators are located on the property; one operated from 1927 to 1950, the other from 1950 to 1980.

The DEC will summarize its findings in a report that will be used to determine if clean-up actions are necessary. The DEC  says the city conducted a study in 2005 and found that there were high levels of lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the incinerator ash. Surface runoff and groundwater from the property flow to the nearby Smokes Creek.

The study, which is supported by the State Superfund Program, is expected to be completed next summer.

More information:

Site Record

Fact Sheet