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Welcome to FMC Middleport

For more than 70 years, FMC Corporation has been an important contributor to the Middleport and Eastern Niagara County economies by operating an active plant whose final products help protect over 100 crops in more than 75 countries.

Situated on a former orchard, the 102-acre plant site was originally used by the Niagara Sprayer Company until FMC took over full operations from that company in 1946.

Manufacturing activities at the plant ceased in 1985 when the facility’s focus changed to formulation — a process whereby ingredients are mixed and packaged into product lines of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides that help protect property and specific crops against insects, weeds and funguses.

The Middleport Agricultural Sciences plant currently supports growers’ requirements for a variety of formulations, including dustless powders, micro-encapsulated liquid and flowable liquids in different sizes and shapes for packaging.

At the same time, FMC is also investing in new biological technologies and products to help growers of fruits, vegetables and row crops, like corn, who are seeking more chemical solutions that reduce impact on the environment.

These products significantly help farmers worldwide to produce abundant crops, keep food prices stable and guarantee the availability of certain foods among different populations.

In addition to its plant operations and contributions to the local economy, FMC also plays a valuable role in making Middleport a special place to live by supporting local initiatives in health and human services, education and science, environment and conservation, and the arts and culture.

Environmental Remediation Program

As part of their operations, FMC and predecessor companies on the Middleport site handled and produced pesticide compounds containing arsenic starting in the late 1920’s and ending in 1974 – 11 years before FMC ceased manufacturing activities at the plant.

In the course of these operations, there were air emissions and fugitive dusts containing arsenic that could have resulted in deposition of arsenic in some areas downwind. There were also possible releases to surface water through stormwater runoff or discharge of wastewater.

FMC has been engaged since the early 1970’s in studies and remedial actions to address arsenic from its past operations that impacted soils, surface water, and groundwater at the plant. In conjunction with this effort, FMC has worked closely with Middleport Village, Federal, State and School District officials, the Middleport Community Advisory Panel (CAP) and the Middleport Community Input Group (MCIG).

In 2019, FMC entered into a new Order on Consent and Administrative Settlement with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC or the “Agency”) and with the approval of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). This document is the framework for activities related to the remediation of on-site and off-site areas impacted by historical operations at the FMC site in Middleport and to resolve other issues at the site.

The 2019 Order on Consent establishes updated terms and conditions to guide the completion of the continued study, evaluation, and remediation, as needed, for all remaining on-site and off-site areas. NYSDEC continued to undertake environmental remedial work through the 2020 construction season, with FMC taking over the remediation work in 2021 and going forth.

FMC’s soil arsenic cleanup efforts were previously guided from 1991 to 2019 by an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) cosigned by the “Regulatory Agencies” — USEPA, NYSDEC and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). They are referred to as the “Regulatory Agencies” or the “Agencies” for actions taken by them prior to the 2019 Order on Consent.

The AOC was issued pursuant to the U.S. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976, as amended by the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984.

To date, FMC has spent more than $200 million in remediation efforts in the Village of Middleport, including the development of RCRA Facility Investigations (RFI) and a Corrective Measure Study (CMS), and conducting more than six Interim Corrective Measures (ICMs) for cleanup involving the Royalton-Hartland School District property, residential properties on S. Vernon St., Maple and Park Avenues, the North Railroad Property, and residential lots on a proposed Village subdivision.

Throughout this process, FMC has been committed to being accessible and helping the local community better understand the presence of arsenic in soil and providing data disproving any human health and safety issues.

Arsenic is a naturally occurring element found in soil, air, water, and many foods such as rice, flour, grape juice, chicken, beef, peanut butter, eggs, spinach, peas and fish. The large majority of human exposure to arsenic is dietary from the food and water people ingest in their daily lives.

In 2004, FMC sponsored a biomonitoring study using urine and toenail samples to test for exposure to inorganic arsenic from soil involving 439 residents in Middleport, including 77 children under the age of seven.

The study was funded by FMC and conducted by Exponent, an independent contractor, with outside review by a panel of health experts from universities, research institutes, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The biomonitoring study found there was no clear evidence of elevated exposure from arsenic in soil for participants. Urinary arsenic levels of individual participants were overall much lower than the reference level for elevated arsenic exposure. Toenail arsenic levels were also below the CDC reference level for normal exposure.

For the past decade, FMC has operated a Community Office in the Village for residents to visit to ask questions and obtain information on the remediation program. Also located in the Community Office at 8 S. Vernon St. is the voluntary FMC Home Value Assurance Program, designed to promote the marketability of eligible homes in the Village.

Current and Future Projects

The 2019 Order on Consent establishes updated terms and conditions to guide the completion of the continued study, evaluation, and remediation, as needed, for all remaining on-site and off-site areas. NYSDEC continued to undertake environmental remedial work through the 2020 construction season, with FMC taking over the remediation work in 2021 and going forth.

The on-site and off-site areas have been divided into 11 Operable Units (OUs). FMC will continue to maintain interim corrective measures previously implemented, as well as the corresponding operation, maintenance, and monitoring measures.

For the most-to-date status on studies and remediation work, please click on the individual Operable Units below:

About the FMC Middleport Website

Through this website, which was launched in June 2013, you can learn more about the history of the Middleport plant, its operations and commitment to safety, the steps taken in the Middleport remediation program, future plans, and opportunities to contact us. This website is regularly monitored and updated to keep you informed on all these efforts.

As you maneuver through the website, you may want to acquaint yourself with the Glossary of Terms to help you understand some of the more technical details concerning the site.

We welcome your comments and questions.

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FMC Safety Tip - November 2022

A National Sleep Foundation poll says 60% of adults have driven while they were tired, and another 37% of 103 million people, have fallen asleep at the wheel.  Here are tips to combat fatigued driving:  1.  Get seven or more hours of sleep a night.  2.  Don’t drive if you’ve been awake for 16 hours or more.  3.  Stop every two hours to rest.  4.  Pull over and take a nap if you’re drowsy.  5.  Travel during times you are normally awake.   

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