US Army Corps of Engineers
Buffalo District Website

PROPOSED PLAN AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC COMMENT FOR THE BALANCE OF PLANT AND GROUNDWATER OPERABLE UNITS OF THE NIAGARA FALLS STORAGE SITE

Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District
Published Oct. 1, 2020

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District is pleased to announce the availability of the Proposed Plan, Balance of Plant and Groundwater Operable Units, Niagara Falls Storage Site (NFSS).  The proposed plan and a fact sheet are available on the web at: https://www.lrb.usace.army.mil/Missions/HTRW/FUSRAP/Niagara-Falls-Storage-Site/ in their respective sections. 

The release of this proposed plan accomplishes an important step in completing the federal decision making process for addressing legacy contamination at the NFSS, which is located in Lewiston, New York.

The public is encouraged to provide comments on the proposed plan.  The comment period begins October 5, 2020, and ends December 5, 2020.  Due to restrictions that are in place in regard to public gatherings, a virtual public meeting will be conducted on October 21, 2020, at 7 p.m.  Space is limited, so please email fusrap@usace.army.mil by October 19, 2020, to register for the meeting, and to let us know if you will be providing comments during the meeting.  The public meeting presentation is available on the website in the Public Presentations section. 

The Corps of Engineers issued the proposed plan under its authority to execute the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP).  When implementing FUSRAP the Corps of Engineers follows the phased investigation process required in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, as amended, and the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan.  

The Corps of Engineers has already completed the decision making for the most significant source of contamination at the site – the Interim Waste Containment Structure (IWCS).  In March 2019 the Corps of Engineers signed a record of decision to completely remove the entire IWCS, process the contaminated materials, and ship the materials out of state for permanent disposal.  Since then we’ve actively pursued the development of the remedial design contract to remediate the site.  We expect to award this design contract in 2021 and our efforts have not been delayed or impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Corps of Engineers has also been progressing the decision-making process for contamination located on the NFSS but outside the IWCS and release of this proposed plan is a significant step forward.  This plan proposes a remedy for addressing contaminated soils, buildings and building foundations, utilities, roads, and roadbeds, known as the Balance of Plant Operable Unit (OU) and contaminated groundwater, known as the Groundwater OU.

In the proposed plan, the Corps of Engineers considers Alternative 3:  Removal with Building Decontamination to be the preferred alternative for the Balance of Plant and Groundwater OUs.  Remedial activities specified by Alternative 3 are excavation and off-site disposal of impacted soil, road bedding, groundwater, and the foundation and utilities of former Building 401.  Building 433 and the foundations of former Buildings 430 and 431/432 would be decontaminated by scarifying (mechanically grinding the surface) and left in place.  FUSRAP-related material that is removed will be transported off-site for disposal at an appropriately permitted disposal facility.  Following completion of Alternative 3, the site would be remediated to levels suitable for industrial use (i.e., protective of both construction and industrial workers).  Five-year reviews will be conducted to ensure continued protectiveness of the remedy.

The virtual public meeting will be recorded so that oral comments can be captured. Written comments may be emailed to fusrap@usace.army.mil; or mailed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District, Attention: Environmental Project Management Section, 1776 Niagara Street, Buffalo, New York 14207.

The preferred alternative may be modified based on any new information acquired during the designated public comment period.  Responses to comments received will be provided in the record of decision, which will identify the selected remedy to be implemented.

The documents which support the proposed plan are available in the administrative record file for the site, which is also available for review on the website.

For further information on the Niagara Falls Storage Site, please visit the project website listed below, send an email to fusrap@usace.army.mil or call (800) 833-6390 (Option 4).


Contact
Susan Blair
716.879.4410
716.799.2618 (cell)
susan.a.blair@usace.army.mil
1776 Niagara Street

Release no. 20-030