Buffalo, NY -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District will begin shipping contaminated soil from the Luckey Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) Site for disposal at the US Ecology, Wayne Disposal Facility in Belleville, Michigan, next week.
During April, the Corps of Engineers began the excavation of soils contaminated with FUSRAP-related material (beryllium, lead, radium-226, thorium-230, uranium-234, and uranium-238) from the Phase 1 cleanup area located in the southern portion of the site along Gilbert Road. The excavated soils were initially placed in a feed pile while the contractor, North Wind-Portage, ensured that all systems and procedures at the site were working properly. It is estimated that 14,000 cubic yards of FUSRAP-related material will be excavated and sorted from the Phase 1 cleanup area and that 110,000 cubic yards of FUSRAP-related material will be excavated from the site.
“Our priority during remediation at the Luckey Site is the safety of the workers and the community, as well as the protection of the environment,” said Lt. Col. Adam Czekanski, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District Commander, “There are many systems and procedures in place to ensure that work is conducted safely, effectively, and efficiently.”
Phase 1 area excavated soils are fed through a soil sorter on a conveyor belt system, which detects the radioactivity levels in the soil. Several specially designed nozzles spray a fine water mist on the soils as they move through the sorter to prevent airborne dust. The soil sorter uses a fast-acting, reversing conveyor to mechanically sort the feed pile soils based on the cleanup goals for the site. Soils which contain radioactive contamination greater than the site’s radiological cleanup goals are diverted and loaded directly from the conveyor belt into containers for off-site disposal. Soils which contain radioactive contamination that meets or is below the site’s radiological cleanup goals are stacked in 100-cubic yard stockpiles. These stockpiles are then sampled for beryllium, lead and other non-radiological contaminants. Stockpiled soils which are above the site cleanup goals for beryllium and lead will be packaged and transported off site for disposal. Soils that meet or are below the site cleanup goals for beryllium and lead may be used as backfill in the excavation area or remain on-site.
Materials that are being transported for disposal will be loaded into flexible bulk packages inside hard-sided roll-off containers. The flexible bulk packages will be sealed when full, and a tarp will be placed over the containers before they leave the site. The exterior of the waste transportation vehicles and the containers will be surveyed prior to leaving the site to ensure that they are not inadvertently spreading contaminated materials off-site. Trucks will be transporting one roll-off container each, which will contain approximately 15 tons of contaminated soil. It is estimated that 11 trucks will leave the site per day during full operation. Truck drivers will be briefed on the transportation route, speed limits, and procedures to be followed at the disposal facility before their truck leaves the site.
From 1949 to 1958, the Luckey Site was operated as a beryllium production facility under a contract with the Atomic Energy Commission, resulting in beryllium, radionuclide, and lead contamination of site soils and groundwater. In 1974, FUSRAP was initiated to identify, investigate, and, if necessary, clean up or control sites throughout the U.S. contaminated as a result of Manhattan Engineer District or early Atomic Energy Commission activities. The Luckey Site was designated for inclusion in FUSRAP by the U.S. Department of Energy during 1992. In 1997 Congress transferred administration and execution of FUSRAP cleanups from the U.S. Department of Energy to the Corps of Engineers.
For further information on the Luckey FUSRAP Site, please visit the project website (below), send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Andy Kornacki, Chief, Public Affairs, at (716) 879-4349.