This page last revised October 16, 2011
Army Corps' preferred alternative: no waste removal from the Seaway landfill, cap waste in place, clean up only the surface soil between the landfill and the property line.
F.A.C.T.S.' comments on Army Corps' selection of onsite containment for the Seaway landfill.
The Town of Tonawanda objects to Army Corps' essentially "no action" plan, points to adverse effect of public "perceptions" on redevelopment plans, calls for full waste removal at the public hearing held on September 24, 2008.
In a reversal of previous willingness to provide public review process documents, Army Corps refused FACTS request for a print copy of the Feasibility Study Addendum to be used in preparing stakeholder comments. FACTS has protested this to the NYS Attorney General's office in Buffalo.
A fourth extension to the comment period on the Army's "no action" proposal closed on October 15, 2007; see news story.
FACTS sent a copy of its comments (F.A.C.T.S.' Comments on the Proposed Plan for the Tonawanda Landfill Vicinity Property) to DEC at the end of July along with a request that DEC reciprocate with its comments. While the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation comments on the Proposed Plan for the Tonawanda Landfill call for the off-site removal of most of the MED contamination, the actual concentrations of Uranium-238, Radium-226, and Thorium-230 that the State will allow the Army to leave on the property are not specified. The DEC call for removal of the MED waste while commendable in itself stems solely from the State's solid waste site closure setback requirements rather than from enforcement of the appropriate radiological cleanup standards for this residential area, i.e. Option 1 of the 1981 NRC BTP (see FACTS comments).
The State's failure to identify the appropriate radiological cleanup standards in its comments is the result of an attempt to accomodate the Town of Tonawanda. Although it clearly should require their removal, the State has previously said (Pataki administration) it will not require removal of the EAD-sourced americium wastes from the Town's landfill. Following the bankruptcy of the EAD smoke detector company (formerly on Ensminger Rd), responsibility for the cost of americium removal fell to the Town. (An unexpected side effect of inexpensive ion chamber smoke detectors).
Since 1998, when Congress appointed the Army Corps of Engineers to take over the remediation of the FUSRAP sites, USACE has made one poor decision after another (see Army Improperly Selects Cleanup Criteria). Their "No Action" plan for the Tonawanda Landfill, issued on March 26, 2007, is just the latest example; seriously deficient 'cleanups' are already completed (the Ashland properties) or nearing completion (Linde).
Over ten years ago the Department of Energy identified a substantial quantity (15,000 cubic yards) of Manhattan Project contamination that needed to be removed from the Tonawanda Landfill property. This waste includes 1.3 Curies of Radium-226, the most radium on any of the Tonawanda FUSRAP properties designated for cleanup. See excerpt from a 1995 F.A.C.T.S. Newsletter.
Despite DOE's former statements, the Army Corps has claimed 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. Mismanagement of the americium waste was the result of State and local government irresponsibility. Collusion of all three levels of government to cap this area would only perpetuate the serious mistakes of the past and render this area yet another long-term nuclear sacrifice zone.
Local residents have responded by forming a group called CURE, hiring attorney Richard Lippes, and bringing a damages suit against the Town of Tonawanda.
Fourteen months after F.A.C.T.S. November 10,2005 letter to DEC requesting that a corrective action be commenced at Linde to address contaminated groundwater as required by law, the Army Corps of Engineers
released its "No action" decision.
See full story, including F.A.C.T.S.' comments on the USACE Linde groundwater study.
Following this decision, on March 4, 2007 via an email sent to DEC, and copied to Governor Spitzer's staff and the Buffalo office of the NYS Attorney General, F.A.C.T.S. again requested the State intervene to seek the required corrective action. This request was repeated again in February 2008; and yet again on June 20, 2008, after it was indicated in March that a written reply had finally been prepared; see email.
ALERT: The Paterson administration now says that it will not seek a corrective action at Linde to enforce the federal or State groundwater protection standards; see June 24, 2008 letter from DEC Attorney James H. Eckl. This failure to even attempt to uphold these fundamental environmental public health laws is an inexcusable move on the part of Commissioner Grannis who built a reputation for environmental stewardship as a legislator. It demonstrates a clear unfitness to protect the public's lawful interests on the part of the new Paterson administration; it should be a warning to citizens with similar concerns at other New York State waste sites; see F.A.C.T.S.' reply letter to DEC Commissioner Grannis.
There are three areas covered by the 1998 Ashland ROD: Ashland 1, Ashland 2, and Seaway area "D," all of which were completed over 3 years ago.
While the Army Corps' meeting notice letter correctly stated that work has been completed at the Ashland 1 and 2 properties, the letter didn't mention Seaway area "D" but instead incorrectly said that the third area covered by the 1998 ROD is the Rattlesnake Creek area which lies east of and off the Ashland 2 property. (This area was later designated as part of the Ashland 2 property.) Army Corps failed to identify the current owners of this undesignated area, despite a direct question to that effect at the meeting.
The cleanup criteria for Rattlesnake Creek, weakened from the 1998 Ashland ROD, do not meet NRC's applicable guidelines for onsite disposal -- see BTP -- and are order of magnitude above the source material licensing threshold (170 pCi/g U-238), see page 1 of Explanation of Significant Differences, and pages 11 and 12 for NYSDEC's and EPA's objections. Yet again NYS and EPA have failed to back up their objections with enforcement.
"The Devil's Dirt" , Salt Lake City Weekly feature story, 5/29/2003. . .
An in-depth look at the NRC's "alternate feed material" scam at the IUC mill in Blanding, Utah, with a landscape comparison to the mine setting at Shinkolobwe, Katanga Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the source of the "K-65" ores that Linde processed. The book Harrington cites as a source of historical information, Adam Hochschild's "King Leopold's Ghost," is an exceptional research work that details the brutal imperialist's Congo operation; see "Tale of Two Kings" for a summary.
WikiLeaks updates uranium situation in Katanga Province, DRC
Energy-intensive uranium extraction adds to global warming and leaves behind massive environmental damage
Uranium diversion to terrorists feared at mine that fueled Hiroshima :
Report by Michael Dynes to Ceylon Daily News
November 2004 : Appalling conditions at the Shinkolobwe mines reported by Madelaine Drohan to Amnesty International USA
1999 NRC Organization of Agreement States meeting
First 35 pages deal with failure of NRC and states to carry out their regulatory responsibilities under UMTRCA Title II at FUSRAP sites. The knowledge that our tax dollars have been squandered by these regulatory fakers without producing the expected implementation and enforcement of public radiation protection rules casts the participants' jocular manner in a particularly repugnant light. Note the comments re Army Corps, who over several months illegally sent 3,000 pCi/g uranium-bearing Linde Bldg. 30 materials to Safety Kleen's Buttonwillow, CA RCRA-C facility while NRC officials continued their deep FUSRAP sleep.
They're still sleeping. Chairman Meserve came and went; the called-for Congressional investigation never materialized, at least publicly. And Governor Pataki squelched request of NYS DEC's Radiation Bureau to take legal action to force NRC to regulate FUSRAP materials (AEA 11.e(2) byproduct materials).
To date, less than half -- 292 of 670 -- of Linde worker claims have been approved for payment under the regulations devised to implement the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) passed by Congress in October 2000.; see Linde statistics DOL webpage.
In a predictable move the Bush Administration chose to enlarge a longstanding federal relationship with pro-nuclear proponent David Dooley by contracting MJW Corporation to do the dose reconstruction studies that will determine claim approval/disapproval. More
Amendment is finally adopted by the NYS DEC on January 3, 2002 over the strong objections of Praxair Inc., the local CANiT politicians, and CANiT's taxpayer funded consultant: the MJW Corporation headed by David Dooley. Read about the improper secret meetings held by NYS with Praxair after the close of the public comment period.
E-mailed Comments by J. Rauch, April 2, 2001, re NYS DEC rulemaking to amend 6 NYCRR Part 380 , "Rules and Regulations for Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Radioactive Materials"
This IEER report reaffirms the use of the resident-farmer model as the only exposure scenario appropriate for setting soil cleanup levels of long-lived radioactive materials; recommends that the concentration of uranium and transuranics allowed to remain at radioactive sites (other than licensed disposal sites) not exceed 10 picoCuries per gram.