Sen. Charles Schumer was in Lewiston Monday, calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to resume cleanup of radioactive waste sites in Lewiston and Niagara Falls. Schumer said the EPA must continue to work with local community leaders and residents to develop a full remediation plan to clean up the affected properties.
“The EPA’s abrupt departure has cast a pall of uncertainty and fear over these neighborhoods. Residents fear impacts to their health as well as detrimental effects to their property values and the local economy,” said Schumer.
“The bottom line is no family should ever have to live in fear about the impacts of a radioactive hotspot on their community. The EPA must get back to work addressing these toxic sites. I will continue to bang the drum as loud as I can until the EPA returns to the area, resumes clean-up of these toxic hotspots, and recommits themselves to working with the local community and state regulators until all of these hotspots are permanently eradicated.”
The EPA recently abandoned its cleanup of a residential site on Upper Mountain Road, a field near Holy Trinity Cemetery and a bowling alley parking lot in Niagara Falls. Investigative Post had reported in August that the work had run out of federal money and Schumer says the EPA has not responded to questions about why the work was halted. The estimated cost of the cleanup efforts is $3 million.
In total, more than 60 radioactive sites are in Western New York, the majority of which are in Niagara County.