Niagara Falls Storage Site
During 1942, the Department of Defense built the Lake Ontario Ordnance Works (LOOW) on 2,500 acres of 7,500 acres of agricultural lands that were acquired by the government in the Towns of Lewiston and Porter in New York. LOOW was built for the purpose of manufacturing trinitrotoluene, or TNT, to be used in World War II. TNT production ceased and the facility was decommissioned within one year of commencing operations.
In 1944, 1,500 acres from the southern portion of the LOOW production area were transferred to the Manhattan Engineer District (MED). This area was called the Lake Ontario Storage Area (LOSA). The storage area was used by the Manhattan Engineer District (MED) to store radioactive residues and wastes from uranium ore processing. Radioactive wastes and residues continued to be brought to the site for storage until 1952.
Of the original 1,500 acres in LOSA, 191 acres continue to be owned by the federal government and are now known as the Niagara Falls Storage Site (NFSS). The remaining acreage is owned by other entities and known as NFSS vicinity properties (VPs).
In 1982 the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) began cleanup and consolidation of the radioactive wastes and residues that were on NFSS and its VPs. The DOE found that VP C and VP H did not require remedial action. Remedial action was performed by the DOE on VPs A, B, C Prime (C’), D, F, H Prime (H’), L, M, N/N Prime (N/N’) North, N/N’ South, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, W. The DOE closed the remediated VPs; certified they were in compliance with DOE decontamination criteria and standards at the time, which were developed to protect human health, safety, and the environment; and released the VPs for unrestricted use. Materials removed during the DOE’s cleanup were placed in a 10-acre earthen containment cell constructed on the NFSS, which was completed in 1986.