Department of Energy
Washington, DC 20585

                              October 7 1994

Mr. James Rauch
Residents Organized for
  Lewiston-Porter's Environment (ROLE)
P.0. Box 44
Lewiston, New York  14092

Dear Mr. Rauch:                  

Thank you for your August 24, 1994, letter to Secretary of Energy
Hazel O'Leary regarding the actions by the Department of Energy
(DOE) at the Tonawanda Site In Tonawanda, New York, and the
Niagara Falls Storage Site (NFSS) near Lewiston. New York.  We
appreciate your comments and input on behalf of interested
stakeholders and are pleased to respond to them.

As you know, on April 14, 1994, DOE decided to suspend the remedy
selection process for the Tonawanda Site.  DOE had earlier
proposed a remedy to consolidate approximately 300,000 cubic yards
of radioactively contaminated waste, located on four Tonawanda
sites, into a waste containment structure located on one of the
sites.

Since that time, DOE has begun a new process to re-examine the
alternatives in light of technical and institutional issues raised
by Congressman John J. LaFalce and others.  As part of this new
process, DOE together with elected officials, the public, and
regulatory agencies, will review and re-examine the feasible
alternatives (including on-site, off-site, and treatment options)
in an effort to define a workable future management strategy.  It
should be emphasized that everything is on the table, and DOE will
work with all concerned in the development of the new strategy.

As the initial part of this new process, DOE has been requested by
the stakeholders to prepare a draft work plan to share with all
interested community members.  This plan can be revised after
discussions with the stakeholders to address their concerns and
comments, as appropriate.  The work plan will be available for
review by the end of October.

Further, regarding NFSS, DOE has requested the National Academy of
Sciences (NAS) to review DOE analyses concerning the waste
containment structure at NFSS and independently advise if it will
provide appropriate protection to the surrounding population and
environment.

The NAS was created in 1863 by a congressional charter approved by
President Abraham Lincoln.  As advisers on scientific and
technological matters, the NAS and its associated organizations
maintain their private status and do not receive direct Federal
appropriations for their work, but rather are funded out of
appropriations made available to Federal agencies.  The NAS is
uniquely qualified to assemble scientific and engineering
expertise of the highest reputation from the public and private
sectors to independently address the issues at NFSS.

Although the NFSS study focuses on the K-65 residues, DOE has
committed to weigh the results of the NAS study against the DOE
long-term management strategy for the residues and wastes, which
was documented in the 1986 NFSS Environmental Impact Statement.
The NAS anticipates completing its report early next year.

The information you submitted to us will be provided to the NAS
panel for consideration in their study.  We will consider this as
part of the community involvement process as we continue to try to
determine the most appropriate course of action for both Tonawanda
and NFSS.

DOE is fully committed to an open process that will allow complete
discussion of all relevant issues concerning Tonawanda and NFSS,
and most importantly, with full participation by all interested
stakeholders.

Thank you for your continued interest in the DOE environmental
management program.


                              Sincerely;



                              Richard J Guimond
                              Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS
                              Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
                              for Environmental Management



cc:
The Honorable John J. LaFalce
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.  20515

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