by Terry Duffy
The newly formed Niagara LOOW Action Council will meet on Tuesday, Aug. 23, at 6:30 p.m. in the Alumni Room of the Lewiston-Porter Community Resource Building on the Creek Road campus.
"We are reaching out to all interested participants," announced Dr. Joe Gardella Jr., Larkin professor of chemistry at the University at Buffalo, who serves as chair of the group. The council, comprised of former steering committee members from the now dissolved Lake Ontario Ordnance Works Restoration Advisory Board, stated at its July 25 session it would work over coming months with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District, on issues involving the former LOOW site in Lewiston and Porter. Gardella said that in addition to a number of organizational tasks to be addressed that evening by the new group, they're also expected to begin discussing the Corps' forthcoming public participation process that will take place over the next year en route to a planned summer 2013 feasibility study for the Interim Waste Containment Structure on the Niagara Falls Storage Site at LOOW.
Announced at the July 25 meeting by U.S. Army Corps facilitator Doug Sarno that its purpose will be to provide the public material in the form of Corps technical memorandums, engage the community in workshops and take further action towards developing future informational data. "The community meetings are designed to engage dialogue," said Sarno.
The Corps announced earlier the first such workshop session would take place Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 6 p.m. in the Lewiston Senior Center, 4361 Lower River Road. To be discussed that evening will be a technical memorandum, "The Waste Disposal Options and Fernald Lessons Learned." It's currently available online at www.lrb.usace.army.mil/fusrap/nfss/index.htm#Documents.
"The findings within this technical memorandum provide an initial assessment to aid in the evaluation of potential remedial alternatives for the NFSS IWCS (Operable Unit)," said Arleen Kreusch, Corps outreach program specialist. "The technical memorandum also contains assessment of lessons learned from previous U.S. Department of Energy activities during Silos 1 and 2 remediation at the Fernald Closure Project Site in Fernald, Ohio. These silos contained high activity radioactive K-65 residues, which were similar to those located within the IWCS at the NFSS."
Kreusch and attending Corps reps at the July 25 session revealed a timetable of monthly activity and reports, and periodic workshops, which are expected to continue through July of 2012. IWCS documents scheduled for release by the Corps during this period include:
•A radon assessment technical memorandum and fact sheet, and a meteorological evaluation technical report and fact sheet, planned for release in October;
•An exposure assessment technical memorandum and fact sheet in November;
•A 2010 environmental surveillance technical memorandum and fact sheet in December;
•Materials and presentations for a radon and exposure assessment workshop on Jan. 25, 2012;
•A remedial action objectives and applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements technical memorandum and fact sheet on IWCS in February 2012;
•Preliminary ideas for the aforementioned RAO/ARARs workshop topics in March 2012;
•A remedial alternatives technologies development and screening technical memorandum and fact sheet in April 2012; with a workshop that month, to be announced;
•Preliminary ideas on the remedial alternatives in May 2012, followed by materials and presentations towards a remedial alternatives technologies development and screening workshop to be announced in June, 2012.
From July 2012 to June 2013 the Corps indicated it expects to be continuing with periodic releases of materials and technical information on the aforementioned topics with workshops to schedule when appropriate, towards the anticipated feasibility report.
"We look forward to working with the community throughout the development of the feasibility study," said Kreusch.
This is a "complex decision" said Sarno of the Corp's forthcoming studies and actions on the IWCS and its future. It involves "a complex set of issues and limited options," he said, adding, we'll "examine all the risks and assessments as we prepare remediation" of the IWCS.
Both the Aug. 23 Niagara LOOW Action Council session and the Sept. 28 Corps workshop are open to the public.