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About the Niagara Falls Storage Site

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.

Project Status

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 and the VPs is outlined below. The administrative record file for the site, which contains the documents supporting the proposed plan, is available electronically at the link below.
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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.

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 public comment period for the proposed plan began October 5, 2020, and ended January 5, 2021.

The proposed plan identified 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.

The Corps of Engineers is currently reviewing the comments received on the proposed plan and preparing a record of decision for the Balance of Plant and Groundwater Operable Units.

The Corps of Engineers 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 privately owned parcel. These open VPs were impacted by Manhattan Engineer District/Atomic Energy Commission activities. Three of these parcels, VP-E, E-Prime, and G were not accessible for investigation by the DOE during the 1980s. 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.

Community Involvement

The US Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District welcomes your input at any time. Our goal is to offer timely and meaningful opportunities for public input to our projects and to promote the dissemination of project information to the community. Public involvement activities complement the Corps' mission to address environmental contamination at the NFSS from past Manhattan Engineer District and Atomic Energy Commission activities.

You are welcome to contact us. If you have questions, comments, or concerns regarding the NFSS, please send an e-mail to fusrap@usace.army.mil. You may also mail a letter to:

USACE, Buffalo District
Attn: Environmental Project Management Section - Outreach
1776 Niagara Street
Buffalo, NY 14207

or call us at 1-800-833-6390 (option 4).

Community Relations Plan for the Niagara Falls Storage Site (Jul 2014)

News

News from the Corps emails are sent regularly when new information is available regarding the NFSS FUSRAP Site and its VPs. To receive News from the Corps, please email us at: fusrap@usace.army.mil and ask to be added to our list.
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Fact Sheets / FAQs

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Public Presentations / Posters / Transcripts

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Reports

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To request specific FUSRAP documents, please fill out this Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request Form and submit it to the Buffalo District FOIA Coordinator listed on the form

2019 Environmental Surveillance Technical Memorandum (Sep 2020)

2019 NESHAP Annual Report (Jun 2020)

2018 Environmental Surveillance Technical Memorandum (Oct 2019)

2018 NESHAP Annual Report (Jun 2019)

2017 Environmental Surveillance Technical Memorandum (Nov 2018)

2017 NESHAP Annual Report (Nov 2018)

2016 Environmental Surveillance Technical Memorandum (Oct 2017)

2016 NESHAP Annual Report (October 2017)

2015 Environmental Surveillance Technical Memorandum (Dec 2016)

2015 NESHAP Annual Report (Jun 2016)

2014 Environmental Surveillance Technical Memorandum (Jan 2016)

2013 Environmental Surveillance Technical Memorandum (Sep 2014)

2012 Environmental Surveillance Technical Memorandum (Jan 2014)

2011 Environmental Surveillance Technical Memorandum (Nov 2012)

2010 Environmental Surveillance Technical Memorandum (Dec 2011) 

Groundwater Sampling After 23 Jun 2010 Quebec Earthquake (Sep 2010)

2009 Environmental Surveillance Technical Memorandum (Nov 2010)

2008 Environmental Surveillance Technical Memorandum (Nov 2009)

2007 Environmental Surveillance Technical Memorandum (Sep 2008)

2006 Environmental Surveillance Technical Memorandum (Sep 2007)

     Historical DOE Data Reports

          IWCS Performance Monitoring Report for 1991 (Jul 1992) 

          IWCS Performance Monitoring Report for 1990 (Mar 1992)

          IWCS Performance Monitoring Report for Second Half of 1988 and 1989 (Jun 1990)

          IWCS Performance Monitoring Report for 1987 and First Half of 1988 (Jan 1989)

          IWCS Performance Monitoring Report for 1986 (Jul 1987)

Remedial Investigation Addendum - Report (Apr 2011)

     Remedial Investigation Addendum - Appendices 3A - 12A (Apr 2011)

     Remedial Investigation Addendum - Appendix 12A, Part 1 (Apr 2011)

     Remedial Investigation Addendum - Appendix 12A, Part 2 (Apr 2011)

     Remedial Investigation Addendum - Appendix 12A, Part3 (Apr 2011)

     Remedial Investigation Addendum - Appendix 12A, Part 4 (Apr 2011)

     Remedial Investigation Addendum - Appendix 12B (Apr 2011)

     Remedial Investigation Addendum - Appendices 12C - 13A (Apr 2011)

Remedial Investigation Addendum - Validated Radiological & Chemical Data (Aug 2010)

     Remedial Investigation Addendum - Sampling Locations (May 2010)

Remedial Investigation Addendum - Sampling and Analysis Plan (Nov 2009)

Groundwater Flow and Contaminant Transport Modeling Results (Mar 2011)

Feasibility Study Work Plan (Dec 2009)

Historical Photographic Analysis (Sep 2009)

Public Comments on the Remedial Investigation Report (May 2009)

     Responses to Public Comments on the Remedial Investigation Report (Aug 2010)

     Responses to Top 7 NYSDEC Comments on the Remedial Investigation Report (Aug 2010)

     Responses to Top 10 USEPA Comments on the Remedial Investigation Report (Aug 2010)

Remedial Investigation Report - Text (Dec 2007)

     Remedial Investigation Report - Figures (Dec 2007)

     Remedial Investigation Report - Tables (Dec 2007)

Baseline Risk Assessment Report - Text (Dec 2007)

Groundwater Flow and Contaminant Transport Modeling - Text Only (Dec 2007)

     Groundwater Flow and Contaminant Transport Modeling - Full Report (Dec 2007)

Closeout Report for Investigation Derived Waste (IDW) and Legacy Waste Disposal (Feb 2011)

IDW and Legacy Waste Disposal - Contractor Quality Control Plan (Aug 2010)

     IDW and Legacy Waste Disposal - Sampling and Analysis Plan (Aug 2010)

     IDW and Legacy Waste Disposal - Waste Mgmt, Transportation & Disposal Plan (Aug 2010)

     IDW and Legacy Waste Disposal - Accident Prevention Plan (Aug 2010)

IDW and Legacy Waste Disposal - Scope of Work (Jun 2010)

Proposed Plan Balance of Plant and Groundwater Operable Units (Oct 2020)

Written Public Comments on the Proposed Plan for the Balance of Plant and Groundwater Operable Units (Jan 2021)

Revised Balance of Plant and Groundwater Operable Units Feasibility Study (Apr 2020)

Balance of Plant and Groundwater Operable Units Feasibility Study Sep 2019 Errata (Apr 2020)

Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Report - Main Body (Feb 2015)

    Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Report - Appendix A (Feb 2015)

    Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Report - Appendix B-1 (Feb 2015)

    Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Report - Appendix B-2 (Feb 2015)

    Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Report - Appendix B-3 (Feb 2015)

    Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Report - Appendix B-4 (Feb 2015)

    Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Report - Appendix B-5 (Feb 2015)

    Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Report - Appendix C-1 (Feb 2015)

    Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Report - Appendix C-2 (Feb 2015)

    Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Report - Appendix D (Feb 2015)

    Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Report - Appendix E-1 (Feb 2015)

    Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Report - Appendix E-2 (Feb 2015)

    Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Report - Appendix E-3 (Feb 2015)

    Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Report - Appendix F (Feb 2015)

    Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Report - Appendix G (Feb 2015)

    Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Report - Appendix H (Feb 2015)

    Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Report - Appendix I (Feb 2015)

    Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Report - Appendix J (Feb 2015)

Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Field Sampling Plan (Oct 2013)

     Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Quality Assurance Project Plan (Oct 2013)

     Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Accident Prevention Plan (Oct 2013)

     Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Site Safety and Health Plan (Oct 2013)

     Balance of Plant Contamination Extent Investigation - Radiation Protection Plan (Oct 2013)

Balance of Plant Field Investigation - Report - Main Body (Aug 2013)

     Balance of Plant Field Investigation - Report - Appendix A (Aug 2013)

     Balance of Plant Field Investigation - Report - Appendix B (Aug 2013)

     Balance of Plant Field Investigation - Report - Appendix C (Aug 2013)

     Balance of Plant Field Investigation - Report - Appendix D (Aug 2013)

     Balance of Plant Field Investigation - Report - Appendix E (Aug 2013)

     Balance of Plant Field Investigation - Report - Appendix F (Aug 2013)

     Balance of Plant Field Investigation - Report - Appendix G (Aug 2013)

     Balance of Plant Field Investigation - Report - Appendix H (Aug 2013)

     Balance of Plant Field Investigation - Report - Appendix I (Aug 2013)

     Balance of Plant Field Investigation - Report - Appendix J (Aug 2013)

     Balance of Plant Field Investigation - Report - Appendix K (Aug 2013)

     Balance of Plant Field Investigation - Report - Appendix L (Aug 2013)

     Balance of Plant Field Investigation - Report - Appendix M (Aug 2013)

     Balance of Plant Field Investigation - Report - Appendix O (Aug 2013)

Balance of Plant Field Investigation - Field Sampling Plan (Nov 2012) 

     Balance of Plant Field Investigation - Quality Assurance Project Plan (Nov 2012) 

     Balance of Plant Field Investigation - Accident Prevention Plan (Nov 2012) 

     Balance of Plant Field Investigation - Site Safety and Health Plan (Nov 2012) 

     Balance of Plant Field Investigation - Radiation Protection Plan (Nov 2012)

Videos

IWCS Proposed Plan Public Meeting - January 13, 2016

History of the Niagara Falls Storage Site (NFSS)

Administrative Record File

The administrative record file is a collection of documents that form the basis for the selection of a response action at an environmental restoration site. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is required to establish an administrative record for every remedial or response action under the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP). The administrative record file for the Niagara Falls Storage Site can be found at the following link:

Administrative Record File for the Niagara Falls Storage Site