The 191-acre federally owned Niagara Falls Storage Site (NFSS) includes a 10-acre engineered Interim Waste Containment Structure (IWCS), which contains radioactive residues, contaminated rubble and debris from the demolition of buildings, and contaminated soil from the NFSS and vicinity properties (VPs). The site is divided into three operable units (OUs): the IWCS OU applies to all of the material within the IWCS; the Balance of Plant OU, which includes all of the material at the NFSS not in the IWCS (soils, buildings and building foundations, utilities, roads, and roadbeds); and the Groundwater OU refers to groundwater contamination remaining after implementation of the selected remedial action for the IWCS. The status for the OUs is outlined below.
Interim Waste Containment Structure Operable Unit
Based on the extensive data compiled and analyzed over the past 25 years, the IWCS, which was engineered and constructed by the U.S. Department of Energy in the early 1980s, is performing as designed and remains protective of human health and the environment.
During 2015, the Corps of Engineers released a feasibility study and proposed plan for the IWCS OU. The proposed plan identified Alternative 4: excavation, partial treatment, and off-site disposal of the entire contents of the IWCS as the preferred alternative. This alternative is the selected remedy in the 2019 record of decision for the IWCS OU. Responses to comments received on the proposed plan were included in the record of decision. A video of the public meeting, the meeting transcript, and the comments received regarding the proposed plan are available in the Public Presentations/Posters/Transcripts section of this webpage. The record of decision is available in the Reports Section below.
Balance of Plant Operable Unit and Groundwater Operable Units
The feasibility study for the Balance of Plant and Groundwater OUs is available at the link provided in the reports section below. A fact sheet regarding the feasibility study is available at the link in the fact sheet/FAQs section of this webpage.
The feasibility study identifies potential remedial technologies and process options and screens those alternatives to identify those that could achieve the cleanup goals developed to be protective of potential construction workers for the Balance of Plant and Groundwater OUs. Each remedial alternative was analyzed in detail for its: overall protection of human health and the environment; compliance with applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements; long-term effectiveness and permanence; reduction of toxicity, mobility, or volume through treatment; short-term effectiveness; implementability; and cost.
The feasibility study and fact sheet are in the administrative record file for the site, which is available electronically in the Town of Lewiston Public Library, 305 South Eighth Street, Lewiston, New York, the Youngstown Free Library, 240 Lockport Street, Youngstown, New York, and the Ransomville Free Library, 3733 Ransomville Road, Ransomville, New York. The administrative record file is also available for review by appointment at the Buffalo District Office Library located at 1776 Niagara Street in Buffalo, New York.
The Corps is responsible for environmental investigations and response at open VPs. Four parcels, VP-E, E-Prime, H-Prime, and G, are located north of NFSS on a private parcel owned by CWM Chemical Services, LLC. These open VPs were impacted by MED/AEC. Three of these parcels, VP-E, E-Prime, and G were not accessible for investigation by the DOE. The Corps will investigate these VPs once the areas are accessible for investigation and sufficient funding is available. The Corps is currently performing a remedial investigation of VP H-Prime, and a site inspection on VP X, which is owned by the Town of Lewiston.