Beginning in 1966, Agway Inc. and Felmont Oil Corporation jointly operated a fertilizer manufacturing facility known as Agway-Felmont. The fertilizer plant was located on Buffalo Street in Olean, New York. Felmont manufactured anhydrous ammonia, and Agway utilized the ammonia in order to make ammonium nitrate, urea and other nitrogen-based fertilizers. The Agway-Felmont plant in Olean closed in 1983, because of high natural gas prices. In 2007, ExxonMobil purchased the property in order to remediate the soil and groundwater contamination caused by the Socony-Mobil oil refinery that was previously located on the site prior to Agway-Felmont. In 2010, Agway-Felmont’s remaining buildings were demolished, and the site is still considered to be part of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Brownfield Cleanup Program.
In recent years, former employees of Agway-Felmont have developed and died of mesothelioma, lung cancer and other asbestos-related diseases. Dozens of asbestos-containing materials, including transite, pipe covering, insulating cement and block insulation, were utilized at Agway-Felmont. Exposure to dust and fibers emitted from asbestos-containing materials can cause mesothelioma or lung cancer.
The Agway-Felmont plant consisted of ten buildings on sixty-two acres of land. From the ammonium nitrate plant, to the urea plant and the mixing building, asbestos-containing materials could be found in materials, such as pipe covering, transite and gaskets. Roofs and siding on the buildings at Agway-Felmont were constructed from corrugated asbestos board, also known as transite. Corrugated asbestos board was composed of cement and raw asbestos fibers, and it was typically manufactured in four-foot by eight-foot sheets. When repairs were performed on a building, workers cut the transite, which emitted asbestos dust and fibers. Handling transite also caused asbestos dust and fibers to become airborne.
Asbestos-containing pipe covering was utilized as an insulation material on steam and chemical lines throughout the Agway-Felmont plant. Boilers and chemical tanks were covered with insulating cement and asbestos block insulation. Asbestos was also incorporated into gaskets and packing material used inside pumps and valves. Due to wear and tear, it was common for asbestos-containing materials to be removed and reapplied. When worn asbestos insulation, gaskets or packing were removed, new asbestos-containing materials were applied so that pipes, boilers and other equipment could properly contain steam and other corrosive materials. Removing and reapplying asbestos-containing insulation emitted asbestos dust into the air, which workers inhaled.
Our clients understand the importance of securing legal representation as soon as possible after a diagnosis of mesothelioma or lung cancer. If you or a loved one were once employed at Agway-Felmont in Olean, New York, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, please contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation.