FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 11, 2005

Schumer Pushes Feds To Address Safety Concerns And Needs Of First Responders Around Niagara Power Plant

Upper Mountain Volunteer Fire Company in Lewiston Sits Smack in the Middle of the US-Canadian border, the Niagara Power Plant, the Power Facility's Giant Storage Reservoir and Niagara University Schumer Requests Meetings with Key Federal and State Agencies to Ensure Local Fire Company Has Adequate Resources, Equipment, and Training Schumer: Upper Mountain Firefighters Serve On the Front Line

US Senator Charles E. Schumer today called upon federal and state officials to meet with members of the Upper Mountain Volunteer Fire Company in Lewiston, which is primarily responsible for providing fire protection and emergency response for the area surrounding the US-Canadian border crossing at Lewiston-Queenston, the Niagara Power Project and the 20-billion gallon water reservoir that holds water diverted from the Niagara River. Citing the critical threats in Upper Mountain’s coverage area, Schumer sent letters to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to secure meetings and begin discussions of funneling sufficient resources to the volunteer fire company.

“These volunteers are going above and beyond the call of duty to watch over and keep safe this border area that is so crucial to Western New York,” Schumer said. “They are being asked to do an almost impossible task, and they deserve to be heard by the federal government.”

Members of the fire company sought Schumer's intervention to obtain meetings with FERC, FEMA, NYPA to discuss ways to ensure that this lone fire department is adequately supported and backed up by other agencies in its efforts to keep the area safe. In separate letters to FERC Chairman Pat Wood III, FEMA Undersecretary Michael Brown, and NYPA Chairman Louis P. Ciminelli, Schumer requested that the agencies meet with his staff and members of the fire department in Lewiston.

In his letters, Schumer said, “If a catastrophic incident were to occur at one of these facilities, it is vitally important to know that our first responders have the resources to deal with the situation. In order to make sure that they able to cope with such an incident, the federal and state government must know what these firefighters may be up against.”

Click here to view letters.

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