CORRECTION TO MEDIA STORIES

Due to some newspaper stories erroneously reporting that F.A.C.T.S. (For A Clean Tonawanda Site), Inc. (F.A.C.T.S.) was asking that more studies be done concerning the removal of the radioactive waste from the Tonawanda Site, F.A.C.T.S. would like to clarify its position relative to the cleanup at the Tonawanda Site.

  1. F.A.C.T.S. never said that we wanted more studies done.

  2. F.A.C.T.S.' main contentions are that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has jurisdiction (under the Atomic Energy Act) over, and expertise with respect to, the radioactive material at the FUSRAP Tonawanda Site. NRC standards for the cleanup of radioactive wastes are much more protective of human health and the environment than the standards that have been identified as applicable, first by the Department of Energy (DOE), and then by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). The failure of DOE and the Corps to consider these standards or seek comment from the NRC is a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA also allows a stakeholder to go to federal court to enforce its provisions.

  3. After ten years of representing to the public that the selection of the remedial actions at the FUSRAP Tonawanda Site would be subject to environmental review under NEPA, DOE and the Corps decided to perform the cleanup exclusively under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) which contains a provision that prohibits the federal courts from hearing a challenge to a selected cleanup until after the cleanup is complete. F.A.C.T.S. believes that the Corps and the DOE made this decision in order to avoid the public review and comment procedures, and NRC involvement, required by NEPA.

  4. We note that both F.A.C.T.S. and CANiT have the same goal in mind. [See "Beating Off CANiT" ALT/Buffalo Alternative Press August 10, 1998.] However, the divergence of opinions comes into play when F.A.C.T.S. has requested that the site be cleaned to unrestricted use, not just to restricted use (for industrial use). By not cleaning to the lower permissible level, there could be problems further along. Long-term exposure by workers to the low-level radiation left behind could lead to the same medical problems that are prevalent among past and present day workers at Linde/Praxair. The possible damage will probably not show for 20 to 30 years. And what of gene damage to young workers of child-bearing age due to this exposure? Then what, come back and revisit the site and do the job right?

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