by Terry Duffy
The Lake Ontario Ordnance Works Community Action Council invites area residents to its next session, Wednesday, Jan. 18, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Alumni Room of the Community Resource Center on the Lew-Port Creek Road campus.
Doug Sarno, technical facilitator contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District, who works with the volunteer citizens group, reports the session will again focus on information sharing to the community with respect to the Corps' Feasibility Study on future remediation of the Interim Waste Containment Structure at the Niagara Falls Storage Site. "The CAC is actively involved throughout the FS process, reviewing and evaluating the technical memoranda and providing community input and perspective to the Corps on the memoranda, workshop design and effectiveness, and needed outreach materials," said Sarno. "The CAC also facilitates community information through its website and the preparation of easy-to-understand information."
He reports the Wednesday session will include the following:
•An introduction to the upcoming Corps' technical memorandum on radon assessment at IWCS and its March 28 workshop, with planning and LOOW CAC input expected.
•Overview of radon as an issue at the IWCS, presented by Dr. William Boeck, retired professor of physics at Niagara University.
•Continued efforts for community outreach and information.
"The January meeting will begin the conversation about issues to be included in two upcoming technical memorandums on 'Radon and Hypothetical Potential Exposures,' and a report on 'Meteorology' at the site," says Sarno. "These topics are set to be discussed at a scheduled Corps public workshop on March 28, and the CAC will be using the next three meetings to prepare for that workshop.
He notes CAC will meet Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m., again at Lew-Port; its March meeting date has yet to be announced.
Dr. Joe Gardella, Larkin professor of chemistry at the University of Buffalo and co-chair of the CAC, adds, "Because of the timing of the next two technical memoranda from the U.S. Army Corps, we have the opportunity to spend two more months preparing for a public input process on two important topics for the Niagara Falls Storage Site. The January meeting will begin the conversation about issues to be included in two upcoming technical memorandums on "Radon and Hypothetical Potential Exposures," and a report on "Meteorology" at the site."
Representatives of the Army Corps Buffalo District will again be attending the session. In a statement, Lt. Col. Stephen H. Bales, commander of the Corps' Buffalo District welcomed residents' participation and input with the CAC group as it continues its work. "I encourage the Lewiston-Porter community's participation in the facilitated process for the development of the feasibility study for the Interim Waste Containment Structure Operable Unit of the Niagara Falls Storage Site, said Bales. "We value the community's input and encourage you to engage the Corps by attending these facilitated meetings.
"As we move forward in developing and evaluating a range of remedial alternatives for the IWCS, it is important that you are engaged as we work through the process of developing the technical memoranda that will be used to form the basis for the feasibility study."
Sarno and Gardella concur on the need for the community engagement process with CAC as it works with the Corps. And they suggest that one way for the community to become more informed is to visit the CAC website, www.loowcac.org.
"The website is a work in progress and more information and links are being added every week," said Gardella. "Please visit regularly and provide feedback at the link provided so that the LOOW CAC can make the site as useful as possible. The LOOW CAC has also established a Facebook page (search LOOWCAC) and Twitter feed, as well as sites on YouTube and Veoh where available videos can be watched."