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 NFSS 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 includes all of the material at the NFSS not in the IWCS (soils, buildings and building foundations, utilities, roads, and roadbeds) and excludes groundwater; and the Groundwater OU refers to contaminated groundwater. The status for the OUs is outlined below.
Interim Waste Containment Structure Operable Unit
Based on analysis of the extensive data compiled for over 30 years, the IWCS, which was engineered and constructed by the U.S. Department of Energy in the mid-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.
Since 2019 the Corps of Engineers has actively pursued the development of the remedial design contract to remediate the site. The current schedule is to award this design contract in 2021. Our efforts have not been delayed or impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Balance of Plant Operable Unit and Groundwater Operable Units
The proposed plan for the NFSS Balance of Plant and Groundwater OUs is available at the link provided in the Reports section below. A fact sheet regarding the proposed plan is available at the link in the Fact Sheet/FAQs section below.
The proposed plan identifies Alternative 3: Removal with Building Decontamination as the preferred alternative for addressing the Balance of Plant and Groundwater OUs. Under Alternative 3, impacted soil, road bedding, and groundwater are removed; the foundation and utilities of former Building 401 are removed, and Building 433 and the foundations of former Buildings 430 and 431/432 are 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.
UPDATE: Due to a public request received December 4, 2020, the comment period has been extended 30 days. The public comment period began October 5, 2020, and now ends January 5, 2021. The public is encouraged to review and provide their comments on the proposed plan.
The public is encouraged to email comments to email@example.com. Written comments can be mailed before the close of the comment period to the address below:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District
Attention: Environmental Project Management Section
1776 Niagara Street
Buffalo, NY 14207
Receipt of mailed comments could be delayed due to COVID-19 practices that are in place.
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 administrative record file for the site, which contains the documents supporting the proposed plan, is available electronically at the link below.
The Corps is responsible for environmental investigations and response at open NFSS 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 preparing a remedial investigation report for VP H-Prime, and performing a site inspection of VP X, which is owned by the Town of Lewiston.