Niagara Falls’ OxyChem plant to close

Niagara Falls

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — OxyChem is planning to close its Niagara Falls facility.

The closure was announced on Thursday, but it’s not clear when the plant’s last day of operations will be.

OxyChem says the closure is “due to unfavorable regional market conditions as well as unreasonable and continually escalating rail transportation costs.”

130 full-time employees and 20 contractors are being impacted by the closure, but the company will continue to provide pay and benefits for employees for at least three months. Along with that, employees will be offered outplacement services, counseling and relocation opportunities where applicable.

The facility first opened on Buffalo Avenue in 1906, and has undergone a number of changes since then. Prior to becoming Oxychem, the company was known as Hooker Chemical Company. Hooker was infamous for Love Canal — the country’s most notorious environmental disaster that spurred the federal Superfund program to cleanup toxic sites.

The facility primarily made chlorine, caustic soda and hydrochloric acid for sanitation, water disinfection and to produce bleach.

MORE | 40 years later, Love Canal residents still searching for closure

Despite the closure of the plant, OxyChem will still maintain “certain corporate service functions” in the local area.

Looking forward, Glenn Springs Holdings, an affiliate of OxyChem, will oversee the property in Niagara Falls after the facility is decommissioned. They will continue to manage OxyChem’s legacy properties in the region.

Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt has released a statement on the matter:

“The news that OxyChem will close down their manufacturing facility is a tremendous blow to our region’s economy. This facility has provided Western New Yorkers with good paying jobs for more than a century, but they are unfortunately the latest victim to the unfavorable business climate and high cost of doing business in New York State. 

My office has been in touch with city, county, and state officials on the immediate need to help the 150 hardworking Western New Yorkers who will lose their jobs due to this closure. 

This is a sad day for Western New York, and the state as a whole.”

Sen. Rob Ortt

Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

Dan Telvock is an award-winning investigative producer and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2018. See more of his work here.

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