FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 27, 2011
SCHUMER HELPS ENSURE COMMUNITY INPUT INTO NIAGARA FALLS SITE CLEAN-UP; ANNOUNCES DOUG SARNO AS TECHNICAL FACILITATOR TO IMPROVE DIALOGUE BETWEEN NIAGARA COMMUNITY AND ARMY CORPS
Upon Schumer’s Urging for Increased Public Involvement, Army Corps Selects Douglas Sarno to Facilitate Communication Between Niagara Community and USACE During Clean-Up at Niagara Falls Storage Site
Niagara Falls Storage Site Manufactured TNT in WWII, Assessment of Health and Environmental Risk From Contamination Has Been Underway by USACE
Schumer: This Announcement Ensures That The Local Community Will Have A Strong Voice In The Cleanup
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that Douglas Sarno has been awarded the position of technical facilitator by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in the Interim Waste Containment Structure at Niagara Falls Storage Site. As the new facilitator, Mr. Sarno will direct the flow of technical and scientific information and input between the community and USACE during the process of developing the Feasibility Study (FS) for the Interim Waste Containment Structure Operable Unit. Schumer has long fought for more public involvement and communication between the community and USACE in the clean-up process, and the awarding of the technical facilitator position to Mr. Douglas Sarno is a step in the right direction.
“I have long fought for a higher level of community involvement and input into the clean-up at Niagara Falls Storage Site, and the basis of that must be direct communication and dialogue between all parties involved,” said Schumer. “Awarding Douglas Sarno the role of technical facilitator is a major step in the right direction, and I am confident that he will act as an effective liaison between the community and Army Corps.”
“The community welcomes Douglas Sarno as facilitator,” said Dr. Joseph Gardella. “His specific knowledge and experience and his skill in working with community members are exactly what the community is looking for to understand the immediate concerns for the future of the radiological materials at the LOOW site.”
In 1941 the Department of Defense (DOD) purchased 7,500 acres of land in Niagara County, on which was built the former Lake Ontario Ordnance Works (LOOW), for the purpose of manufacturing trinitrotoluene (TNT) during World War II. The TNT plant was decommissioned in 1943. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has conducted environmental investigations on behalf of the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Energy (DOE). The purpose of the USACE investigations is to determine the nature, extent, and risks to human health and the environment resulting from contamination by past federal activities at the site.
The Niagara Falls Storage Site clean-up team is using a phased approach to the Feasibility Study (FS) for the Interim Waste Containment Structure Operable Unit to provide the community with the opportunity to provide input as the Feasibility Study is developed. Douglas Sarno will be directly involved with the community and the USACE team to facilitate community dialogue and communication. Based on comments already received by the public, the Niagara Falls Storage Site clean-up will include several major aspects including a Radon assessment, a review of all waste disposal options, and an assessment of potential health effects from TNT contaminants.