On May 7, 2023, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) was notified by Buffalo Fire HazMat of a significant fire at the former Buffalo Bumper Exchange property located at 141 Bushnell Street, Buffalo, NY. The site had approximately 250 containers of abandoned waste material at the time the fire occurred. Total storage capacity was estimated to be approximately 67,000 gallons, approximately 280 tons.
Metal plating operations at this facility reportedly ended when the property was sold in 1989. Successive owners had maintained waste from the previous operations. The current owner agreed via consent order with NYSDEC to properly remove and dispose of historic wastes on February 12, 2020.
The drum removal operation had not been completed before the fire and numerous 55-gallon drums and containers were damaged. The property owner claimed he was unable to conduct further work and DEC initiated a state-funded removal action. Work had progressed but complex analysis of mixed hazardous wastes has become a concern for state contract laboratories. The site was referred to EPA on September 25, 2023.