Last Updated : November 2011


Chronologic History of the Tonawanda, NY FUSRAP Site

1942
Top secret "Manhattan Project"; U.S. Army's Manhattan Engineer District (MED) contracts with Linde Air Products Company to refine uranium ores and to produce the special sintered nickel (both at Linde's Tonawanda "Ceramics Plant" MED facility) used in Linde's research and development of the first gaseous diffusion process equipment (Linde's Chandler St., Buffalo facility) for separation of the uranium-235 used in making uranium atomic bombs (e.g., the "Little Boy" Hiroshima bomb) directly or, after the additional step of atomic reactor conversion to plutonium, plutonium weapons, e.g. the "Fat Man" Nagasaki plutonium bomb.
MED builds several buildings -- Buildings 30, 31, 37, and 38 -- for scale-up of Linde's uranium refinery processes which were developed in Linde's existing Building 14, the "pilot plant".
1943
MED leases Haist property for disposal of uranium refinery sludges (tailings) from processing of domestic ores.
Residues from processing of the much more hazardous, high radium-content Belgian Congo ores (K-65, L-30, L-50, and F-32 residues) are dumped at the federally-owned Lake Ontario Ordnance Works (LOOW) compound at Lewiston, NY.
Federal government purchases Haist property in 1944.
1942 - 1949
Large quantities of radioactive liquid effluents are discharged from Linde's "Ceramics Plant" uranium refinery to Tonawanda storm and sanitary sewers, Two Mile Creek, and on-site injection wells.
1947
War Powers Act expires on 3-31-47; Atomic Energy Act of 1946 (AEA) creates the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) which assumes control of radioactive materials; the MED contracts with Linde are continued by AEC until the early 1950s.
1950 - 1952
AEC turns the federal MED compound over to Linde at no charge after minimal decontamination is performed -- illegally abandoning license-requiring concentrations of uranium.
1960
After performing radiological survey in 1957, AEC excesses Haist property, gives General Services Administration (GSA) go ahead to auction the 10 acre property; assessed for $5,000, it is sold to Ashland Oil Company for $56,000 via quitclaim deed; Ashland is only bidder (of three) that knew of radioactive contamination.
In spite of the 1957 AEC survey showing the wastes contain uranium at concentrations requiring a "source material" license, AEC makes the property transfer without licensing Ashland's possession of the material; AEC focus was on bomb production, AEC ignored Congress' fourth purpose in passing the AEA: protecting the public health and welfare. (See DOE Authority Review for Ashland/Seaway and Buffalo Evening News Story.)
1962
NYS is delegated "Agreement State" licensing authority over radioactive materials by AEC; NYS does not license the materials and thereby prevent the subsequent activities of property owners that result in extensive environmental contamination.
1974
AEC starts an ad hoc program known as FUSRAP, Formerly Utilized MED/AEC Sites Remedial Action Program, to identify and clean up improperly released sites contaminated by past operations.
Ashland Oil transfers 6,000 cubic yards of radioactive sludges/soils from the Haist property, now known as Ashland 1, to the Seaway landfill and Ashland 2 property prior to constructing oil storage tanks on former Haist disposal area.
The same year, intent on correcting AEC's numerous regulatory failures to protect human health, Congress splits AEC into the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and ERDA, which becomes the Department of Energy (DOE) in 1978.
1978
Congress enacts the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) to deal with major uranium tailings-related health problems near inactive uranium processing sites and to prevent further problems at operating refinery sites; UMTRCA creates strict regulations at the federal level (NRC and EPA) which needed to be adopted by Agreement States in order for state control of these waste materials - previously included under "source material," but henceforth defined as a new category: "11.e(2) byproduct materials" - to continue;

NYS fails to promulgate the required State-level regulations, despite the fact that the State Department of Labor, upon the request of ERDA, places a license on the Linde uranium contamination, the intent being to limit worker exposure. (See F.A.C.T.S. March 1997 letter to DOL Commissioner Sweeney.)

State DEC allows Ashland Oil Co. to continue radioactive material transfers from the Ashland 1 property to the Ashland 2 property until 1982, two years after:
1980
the Linde property is designated by DOE for clean-up.
1984
Ashland 1 and 2 and the Seaway property are designated by DOE for clean-up.
1987
Linde demolishes contaminated Building 37 and disposes of it at unidentifed location.
1988
DOE issues Notice of Intent to prepare Environmental Impact Statement for clean-up of Tonawanda Site properties; this is the start of DOE's NEPA public environmental review process.
1993
DOE releases draft RI/BRA/FS-EIS [Remedial Investigation/Baseline Risk Assessment/Feasibility Study - Environmental Impact Statement] for public comment, DOE's preferred alternative is partial clean-up with waste storage in a tumulus to be constructed along the Niagara River at the Ashland 1 property; public strongly opposed, favors Alternative 2 : "complete clean-up and offsite disposal". See Overview of DOE's NEPA Process for the Tonawanda Site".
1994
In April DOE "suspends" the NEPA environmental review process, starts "new open, process".

June - DOE Secretary Hazel O'Leary issues policy change on NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act), the law requiring EISs for major actions affecting the environment: DOE no longer to do EISs for most clean-ups, only limited CERCLA (Superfund) review.

In response, a grassroots public interest group F.A.C.T.S. (For A Clean Tonawanda Site) is formed. F.A.C.T.S. requests that DOE continue the required, prescribed NEPA review process (see 8-24-94 letter to Secretary O'Leary and 9-28-96 letter to DOE's J. Owendoff ); this request by the main community stakeholder group is ignored (see replies by Guimond and Owendoff).
The sitewide approach of the NEPA review process is terminated in favor of a limited, segmented CERCLA review. The "Tonawanda, NY FUSRAP Site," formerly composed of the Linde property, the Ashland properties, the Seaway property and the Tonawanda Landfill, is segmented into several CERCLA "operable units" known as the "Linde Site", "Linde Vicinity Properties" (formerly the Tonawanda Landfill, and others), the "Ashland 1 Site," the "Ashland 2 Site", and the "Seaway Site".
1995
February 18 - DOE holds last public meeting of the new process, thereafter DOE deals almost exclusively with the CANiT politicians led by John LaFalce and Richard Tobe (Erie Co.'s Environment and Planning Commissioner).

DOE starts "interim actions" at Linde without stakeholder agreement on applicable clean-up criteria. F.A.C.T.S. questions legitimacy of the process and the clean-up proposal.
1996
August 6 - Congressman LaFalce announces reaching agreement with DOE on a limited clean-up, some CANiT politicians present, other stakeholders not invited, details sketchy, poorly reported in press; wastes in BFI's Niagara Landfill not to be removed.

F.A.C.T.S. formally objects to interim action criteria as not conforming to the applicable NRC clean-up guidelines. DOE uses generic surface decontamination criteria - 5,000/15,000/1,000 dpm per 100 cm2 for the average fixed/maximum fixed/removable contamination parameters, respectively, instead of the 50-fold more stringent radium site criteria (100/300/20) recommended 20 years earlier by its own Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) experts.

F.A.C.T.S. makes written request to NRC to exercise its congressionally-mandated regulatory authority over the Tonawanda Site FUSRAP materials [11e.(2) byproduct materials]. NRC fails to act.

NYS DEC publicly acts as if it has authority over wastes and their clean-up long after being informed by NRC that it has no such authority; DOE asks for and NYS DEC gives approval of "interim" clean-up criteria.
1997
May - F.A.C.T.S. files FOIA litigation against DOE in federal district court for withholding information pertinent to the public review process. Judge rules in favor of F.A.C.T.S. and forces turnover of most of requested information, including MED contracts with Linde.

October 13 - Congress transfers funding for FUSRAP program execution from DOE to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), for FY 1998 (and each subsequent FY since then).

November 13 - USACE releases for public comment a DOE-revised Proposed Plan (PP) which addresses the clean-up of only the Ashland 1 and 2 properties and selects a clean-up level, 40 pCi/g thorium-230, that does not satisfy NRC's unrestricted use criteria; 42,000 cubic yards of soils are identified as contaminated vs. 172,000 cy in the DOE's 1993 EIS; revised PP does not meet NEPA or CERCLA requirements.
1998
January - F.A.C.T.S. submits extensive comments on the Proposed Plan for Ashland 1 and 2 anticipating a need for legal redress (see "Problems" summary below).

April 20 - USACE issues illigitimate Record of Decision (ROD) for Ashland 1 and 2, selecting the 40 pCi/g Th-230 clean-up level.

June 2 - F.A.C.T.S. files multi-faceted complaint in federal district court.

Problems with the Ashland 1 and 2 Proposed Plan
and Record of Decision:

  1. USACE has no authority to make the decision on the clean-up of the Tonawanda Site's radioactive materials. Under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended by UMTRCA, only the NRC has authority to make the clean-up decision for these 11.e(2) byproduct materials.

  2. The NRC's "unrestricted use" clean-up guidelines should be used; the USACE ROD clean-up guideline is not suitable for unrestricted release of the properties, and therefore not protective of public health (8 times less stringent than NRC guidelines) :

    - the USACE ROD uses the DOE-recommended soil guideline of 40 picocuries/gram (pCi/g) for thorium-230 only, which results in a contaminated volume of 42,000 cubic yards for Ashland 1 and 2, vs. the EIS volume for these two properties of >172,000 cubic yards. (There are no provisions for restrictions on use following clean-up.)

    - NRC guidelines for unrestricted release of contaminated property are 5 pCi/g for all Uranium-238 decay chain members. Contaminated volume using NRC clean-up guidelines not given, but more than EIS volume of 172,000 cubic yards for these two properties.

  3. Not sitewide clean-up, the alternatives presented address only the Ashland 1 and 2 properties; raises NEPA segmentation issue.

    - a major portion of contaminated soil is at the Seaway property, 117,000 cubic yards according to DOE's 1993 EIS which used the following DOE clean-up guidelines:

    15 pCi/g for thorium-230 and radium-226,
    28.4 pCi/g for uranium-238.

    - the Linde property has approximately 50,000 cubic yards of contaminated soils by these same DOE guidelines.

  4. NEPA issues not addressed: reasonable future land use, long-term adverse health effects, high tumulus maintenance costs, etc.

  5. Proposal lacks details - costs, volumes of contaminated soils and buildings, etc. - necessary to make comparisons between the sitewide alternatives of DOE's draft EIS and the property-limited alternatives of the USACE PP.


1998
July - USACE improperly proceeds with soil removal/blending activities at Ashland 2 presumably along the lines of the "FUSRAP Lite" plan outlined in DOE's 7/31/96 "Ten Year Plan Data Submittal for Oak Ridge," i.e. "complete excavation and commercial disposal of 'hot spots' at each of the four sites (totaling ~67,000 cubic yds for all sites) and excavation of the remaining material (totaling ~170,000 cubic yds for all sites), which would be taken to Ashland 2 to be blended for beneficial reuse [Emphasis added]."

August - first contaminated soils sent by rail to International Uranium Corporation's White Mesa mill near Blanding, Utah for processing as "alternate feed material" under an amendment to IUC's operating license granted by NRC despite the fact that three DOE-contracted labs determined that it was not economically feasible to reprocess/treat Tonawanda's contaminated soils.

Utah's radiation director objects strenuously to NRC, says reprocessing is a sham to cover the dumping of large volumes of unplanned material into IUC's disposal areas, a physically less suitable location for long-term waste storage than DOE's Nevada Test Site or Envirocare's licensed 11.e(2) facility at Tooele, Utah, but state counsel does not follow up with court action.

NRC also rejects a petition by Natural Resources Defense Council requesting NRC license USACE transfers of pre-1978 11.e(2) FUSRAP wastes.

October - Congress directs Army Corps to execute FUSRAP under CERCLA, effectively neutralizing F.A.C.T.S.' June 2, 1998 lawsuit over NRC authority and legitimate cleanup criteria.

USACE continues waste transfers to less suitable, but cheaper, long-term storage locations. See the USACE rationalization of its disposal options , and a somewhat differing DOE view.
1999
Building demolition "interim actions" continue at Linde property using the improper surface decontamination criteria (5,000/15,000/1000 dpm per 100 cm2); see above.

March 26 - USACE issues proposed plan for Linde property, calling for uranium soil cleanup criteria of 3,021 pCi/g for subsurface soils, 600 pCi/g for top six inches, no details on the disposal locations to be used.

Proposal severely attacked by EPA, DEC, F.A.C.T.S. and others : "They're so far out of line; we've never seen anything like it" - EPA's Paul Giardina.

Summer - Press reports contaminated Linde building debris improperly dumped at Safety Kleen facility in Buttonwillow, CA; USACE had previously claimed to be using only Envirocare for these materials.
2000
February - Both Idaho's NGO Snake River Alliance, outraged at the improper dumping of FUSRAP materials at Idaho's Envirosafe facility, and Envirocare petition NRC to regulate FUSRAP wastes to ensure that proper long term storage sites are used.

March 3 - USACE issues unaltered ROD for Linde.
After protesting -- EPA reiterating that USACE criteria do not meet the long-term protection requirements of EPA regulations -- both EPA and NYS allow USACE to implement its grossly deficient clean-up decision. Work starts shortly thereafter.

April 10 - Washington Post story by Mike Grunwald reveals details of last minute FY 1998 House/Senate "horse-trading" that resulted in the transfer of FUSRAP funding/implementation from DOE to USACE, also reports EPA starting investigation of USACE FUSRAP activities. To date, there has been no public report by EPA.

July 31 - NYS DEC issues emergency regulation (amendment of 6 NYCCR Part 380) designed to prevent USACE improperly dumping FUSRAP radioactive material it calls "clean" (i.e. below USACE's grossly deficient cleanup levels but a significant long-term radioactive hazard according to DEC) in NYS solid waste landfills.

August - Responding to inquiry about emergency regulation, DEC official informs F.A.C.T.S. that DEC learned in February of USACE's improper dumping of Building 30 radioactive debris at Schultz landfill in Cheektowaga, NY. (See USACE page from report.)

September - Award winning series by Pete Eisler in USA Today focuses public attention on serious mismanagement at early atomic sites.

December 20 - NRC rejects the strong legal case presented by SRA/Envirocare petitioners requesting NRC to regulate FUSRAP materials.
2001
January 9 - DEC holds hearings to make the emergency Part 380 rule, which had been extended twice, a permanent regulation; F.A.C.T.S.' Rauch makes extensive oral comments on the historic mismanagement of Tonawanda Site wastes and the illegitimate clean-up plan/public review process. See follow-up e-mail comments , transcript of oral comments , and Tonawanda News story .

Praxair, the CANiT politicians, and their taxpayer-funded consultant, David Dooley of MJW Corporation, submit written comments strongly opposing the Part 380 rulemaking, express fears that the Army Corps of Engineers' grossly deficient clean-up activities will be further discredited in the public mind and re-development of the properties made difficult.

February 21 - DEC lets emergency regulation lapse.

March 7 - DEC reinstates emergency regulation and reopens comment period until April 2, 2001.

Without any explanation, every 60 days DEC continues to extend the Emergency Adoption of the stalled amendment.

November - a FOIL request for Part 380 Amendment rulemaking records is met with only a partial release of information by DEC: an August 14, 2001 letter from Praxair counsel and an August 29, 2001 reply from DEC Division Director Stephen Hammond.

The second letter reveals that DEC held at least two private meetings with Praxair, well after the official (public) comment period had closed, but before DEC finalized the Amendment. During these meetings Praxair attempted to negotiate an a priori exemption (variance) from the proposed Part 380 amendment for Linde site soils contaminated up to the source material threshold concentration of 342 picoCuries/g total uranium, a concentration that is 34 times the NRC's 10 pCi/g unrestricted use level set down in Option 1 of NRC's 1981 BTP.

In addition to Praxair counsel, David Dooley of MJW Corporation was actively involved on Praxair's behalf in at least one of these meetings. It seems that Dr. Dooley was retained by Praxair as a consultant some time before the January 9, 2001 Part 380 amendment public hearing in Buffalo, NY and remains in that capacity.

These secret meetings violate the intent of the State's Administrative Procedures Act and reflect very poorly on all of the participants.

The meeting notes (acknowledged in a phone conversation) of at least one state participant, a DEC official, are improperly withheld.

December - Administrative appeal of the partial FOIL response is filed with DEC.
Appeal is later denied: all further records are described as "confidential".

December 13 - State Health Department releases zip code cancer registry study showing a 10% excess in the incidence of all cancers in men and women in the study area for the 5-year period 1994-1998, including an 83% excess in female thyroid cancers, a 25% excess in male colorectal cancers; proposes a second study of a smaller geographic area for the ten year 1990s period.
2002
January 23 - DEC publishes ENB notice announcing the formal adoption of its long-delayed Part 380 Amendment on January 3, 2002, to take effect on February 2, 2002.

July 23 - FACTS gives oral testimony at the NIOSH public hearing in Amherst, NY on proposed regulations implementing the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act - a limited entitlement program passed by Congress that purports to address the high rates of sickness and cancer experienced by poorly protected/monitored U.S. nuclear weapons workers.
See transcript of hearing and EEOICPA Page.

September - NIOSH awards $20 million contract to MJW Corporation of Williamsville, NY to do dose reconstruction studies that will determine the federal government's medical liabilities under the EEOICPA. This contract is given in spite of the fact that the president of this firm, David Dooley, is a consultant to Praxair, Inc., the owner of the Linde property at the Tonawanda, NY FUSRAP Site (see November 2001 entry above).

Dooley is a pro-nuclear proponent who has publicly supported the idea of "hormesis" (i.e. that ionizing radiation can be good for you) at least twice: once while advocating the re-opening of the radwaste dump at West Valley, NY in a debate with FACTS' James Rauch on a local public access program from SUNY College at Buffalo and once during one of CANiT's public meetings.

Formerly, Dooley was employed for five years by the DOE contractor at the West Valley, NY site, leaving there to start MJW. Ignoring FACTS recommendation that an independent expert be selected, DOE subsequently contracted Dooley's MJW to be the technical consultant to the "community" (read as the ex officio CANiT politicians), in which capacity he facilitated adoption of DOE's illegitimate cleanup proposals at the Tonawanda Site by claiming they were too strict. This is a disturbing, post modern example of privatization: here used to effect the waiving of relevant regulatory requirements and thereby reduce government cleanup costs.

October 18 - Army Corps of Engineers finally releases its Proposed Plan for Building 14 at Linde. The preferred alternative calls for demolition of the building at a cost of $9.8 million. This comes after Praxair's insistence on three failed attempts to decontaminate the building that cost taxpayers undisclosed millions (estimated at upwards of $20 million). See FACTS' 1996 comments on these "interim" actions and March 21, 1997 Buffalo ALT article.
The original 1993 Tonawanda Site FS/PP-EIS called for demolition of all Linde buildings at a cost of approximately $3 million. Building 14, the only Manhattan Project-contaminated building at the Linde site not built by the federal government, has been full-value assessed by the Town of Tonawanda at $362 thousand.

November 19 - Public supports demolition of Linde Buiding 14 at public hearing; FACTS again calls for application of the legal cleanup criteria: 10 pCi/g total uranium for soil, 100/300/20 dpm/100 cm2 for material surfaces.

2003
April 10 - Army Corps of Engineers issues ROD for Building 14 selecting the demolition proposal, again using the illegitimate Linde ROD cleanup criteria. Corps promises systematic dismantlement : "no wrecking ball will be used".

October 28-30 - Additional EEOICPA application sessions held in Springville, NY and Amherst, NY, "to expedite process". See Buffalo News story.

final report [542kb PDF] on EEOICPA sites; Congress drops another $9.7 million on EEOICPA bureaucracy (MJW Corp., etc.) while victims continue to wait and to die.
November 18 - Congress passes Energy and Water Appropriations bill (HR 2754) containing a provision specifically designating the high-level radium-bearing residues at Fernald, OH and the Niagara Falls Storage Site (NFSS) near Lewiston, NY as low-level commercial waste, i.e. so-called 11e.(2) byproduct material, clearing the way for unsound management by DOE (Fernald) and USACE (NFSS). WNY delegation supports measure; see NFSS page for details.
2004
June - USACE contractor Shaw Environmental of Baton Rouge, La begins demolition of the 210 by 220 foot Linde Building 14; instead of the Corps' promised piece-by-piece dismantlement, a grappling claw and primitive hose dust suppression are used.

Local Congressman Tom Reynolds is taken to task by the Buffalo News for blocking an EEOICPA reform measure in the House Rules Committee

October - Defense bill includes limited reform and extension of EEOICPA program; a WNY office to be opened.

USACE releases a limited study of Linde groundwater, saying there will be no effort to recover the large amounts of uranium, thorium, radium and heavy metals discharged to the site's underlying aquifer.

November 15 - NYS Department of Health releases findings of follow-up cancer study to its December 2001 zip code study; statistically significant excesses found in cancer of the testis (133%), urinary bladder - males (71%), all sites - males (12%), lung/bronchus - females (34%), brain/nervous system - females (120%). Low power study (only 10,000 persons vs. 70,000 in first study) was criticized by an openly hostile public for only covering ten-year 1990-99 period when reliable data are apparently available back to 1976 -- previously DOH had said quality of cancer data before 1994 was questionable.

2005
January 26 - FACTS' comments on the USACE Linde groundwater study are submitted to US Army Corps of Engineers.

March 3 - USACE holds a public meeting on its decision to apply modified Ashland cleanup criteria for cleanup of the Rattlesnake Creek contamination. Both New York State and EPA object to use of these criteria but (to date) fail to back up their objections with enforecement. FACTS' members again clearly identify the more stringent, lawful cleanup criteria.

Work to remove contaminated soil and structures continues at Linde, now well past the expected completion date.

November 1 - USACE finally responds to FACTS' comments on the Linde groundwater study. USACE not only repeats its earlier decision not to remediate Linde groundwater, but after "further assessment" now brazenly concludes "that no completed pathways for current or future exposure to MED related constituents in groundwater at the Linde site exist."

November 10 - FACTS sends letter to NYS DEC's Radiation Section Chief requesting enforcement of state and federal groundwater protection laws at the Linde site.

December - Letter from DEC's Radiation Chief says the state is still evaluating the USACE Linde groundwater report.

Bush administration finally grants Linde workers special exposure cohort status under the EEOICPA, but only covers years 1942-1947. See EEOICPA page.

2006
May 4 - Rather than perform the corrective action required under NYS law by its own findings, USACE releases a Proposed Plan for Linde groundwater remediation calling for the "No Action" alternative.

June 13 - at the public meeting on this "No Action" plan USACE says no pathway for human exposure currently exists and simply ignores the NYS groundwater protection laws.

November - Eliot Spitzer is elected NYS Governor. The environmental community wonders if the new Spitzer administration will call a halt to USACE's illegal activities at Tonawanda (As Attorney General, Spitzer did not act independently of the Pataki administration despite FACTS' attorney making a request to the AG's office to intervene.)

2007
February - USACE releases its illegal "No Action" decision for the contaminated Linde groundwater (ROD actually signed January 29). FACTS asks the Spitzer administration to pursue the federal government to perform the required groundwater corrective action at Linde.

March 26 - the Army issues a controversial "No Action" proposed plan for the Tonawanda Landfill property, formalizing its intent to leave significant Manhattan Project contamination in the Tonawanda Landfill. Since 1998, when Congress appointed the Army Corps of Engineers to take over the remediation of the FUSRAP sites, the Army has made one bad decision after another (see Army Improperly Selects Cleanup Criteria).
Over ten years ago the Department of Energy identified 15,000 cubic yards of Manahttan Project wastes that needed to be removed from this site. This contamination includes 1.3 Curies of Radium-226, the most radium on any of the Tonawanda FUSRAP properties; see excerpt from a 1995 F.A.C.T.S. Newsletter. Despite DOE's former statements, the Army Corps now claims no responsibility for these wastes, plans no waste removal, and plans to allow these federal radioactive wastes to be capped along with the Americium-241 sludges from the defunct EAD smoke detector company.
Limited local media coverage has raised community concerns and prompted a damages lawsuit by a newly formed citizen group.
See F.A.C.T.S. comment on the Proposed Plan for the Tonawanda Landfill.

September 17 - NYS DEC rejects the Army's "No Action" decision for the Tonawanda Landfill property based only on solid waste site closure setback requirements, not the appropriate radiological cleanup criteria; see the DEC's comments.

2008
February - FACTS again requests NYS to require a corrective action to clean up Linde groundwater contamination; see email. To date there has been no definitive response by NYS to this request.

August 27 - Army Corps releases Proposed Plan for the Seaway Property (dated April 2008) for 60 day comment period; the plan calls for no waste removal from the Seaway landfill, cap waste in place, clean up only the surface soil between the landfill and the property line.

September 24 - Army holds public hearing on its Seaway Plan; the Town of Tonawanda objects to Army Corps' essentially "no action" plan, points to adverse effect of public "perceptions" on redevelopment plans, and calls for full waste removal; see Tonawanda News article.

October - FACTS submits detailed written comments on the Seaway proposal identifying the limiting future use (residential), the applicable ARARs, and the community's preference for complete waste removal to a physically suitable disposal location. Army Corps extends the comment period until November 28, 2008.

2009
October 25 - Army ignores community call for cleanup and issues its CERCLA ROD for the Seaway Property which finalizes its preferred alternative. Yet again, EPA and NYS do nothing.
2010
January - Almost ten years after commencing remediation, contaminated soil excavation and removal continues at the Linde property. FACTS' and Town of Tonawanda officials' numerous requests for update meetings during the intervening years continue to be ignored.

The Army's contractor conducts interviews with stakeholders for the five-years overdue, CERCLA-required Five Year Review for Linde; FACTS' is among the stakeholders interviewed.

August - Army finally releases overdue Linde Five-Year Review Report confirming that: the contamination is far worse than previous survey estimates; the State disapproved of Army Corp's weak cleanup criteria but irresponsibly failed to challenge them; portions of the site will remain significantly contaminated, leaving Praxair saddled with deed restrictions and potentially responsible for future cleanup costs.


Uranium decay chain (alpha emitters only):


U-238 > U-234 > Th-230 > Ra-226 > Rn-222 > Po-218 > Po-214 > Pb-210 > Pb-206 (stable)
4.5b yr 0.24m yr 77t yr 1.6t yr 4 dy 3 min 30 min 22 yr


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