Slaughter Announces LOOW Site Cleanup Will Begin This Fall

May 2010

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-28) today announced that a project to reduce public safety hazards at a WWII-era TNT production site in Lewiston can begin this fall.

The announcement came after the Town of Lewiston and the U.S. Corps of Engineers reached a deal to help tackle safety issues at the former Lake Ontario Ordnance Works (LOOW) Waste Water Treatment Plant by putting up fences, demolishing old structures and sealing off dangerous areas. The site has been a danger to students who cut through the property to get to and from Lewiston-Porter schools.

“This work will safeguard children and residents alike who now have unrestricted access to this hazardous site,” said Slaughter, whose office talked with the Corps this week about the work project. “We’re going to remove unsafe structures and debris left over after World War II and make sure the site is safe for the community. I am glad to have secured the funding to enable this clean-up work to be completed this year.”
Last year, Slaughter secured $1.072 million in the FY11 Defense appropriations bill for the Town of Lewiston in partnership with the U.S. Corps of Engineers to remove these hazards. Slaughter’s intervention is finally enabling the Town of Lewiston to address its decades-long pursuit to secure this site.

Lewiston Town Supervisor Steven Reiter said, “I appreciate Congresswoman Slaughter’s critical role in securing this funding to protect our kids and community. This project will resolve a decades-long town concern to clean up hazards on this site”

Last week the Town of Lewiston and the Corps of Engineers reached agreement on the details of the project scope of work. The project entails demolition of unsafe structures, and installation of protective fencing, grates and barriers to secure the site from trespassers. The improvements also include the removal of a section of a 30-inch diameter outfall pipe that children have used as a “bridge” to gain access onto the site. In addition the Corps of Engineers will conduct an analysis of environmental samples to determine the presence of chemical and radiological contaminants in the water and sludge within open pits and vaults.

The Corps of Engineers and the Town of Lewiston expect to execute the agreement with the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment to obligate the $1.072 million Slaughter secured. It is anticipated that contracts will be issued this summer with the work being conducted this fall.

The site’s hazards include derelict buildings, exposed pits and debris left behind when the LOOW Waste Water Treatment Plant was closed in the 1940s after the military decommissioned its TNT production facility. There is evidence that trespassers have traversed the site by ATV and four-wheel drive vehicles which poses a potential danger to those unaware of the physical safety hazards.

This project is part and parcel of Slaughter’s efforts to support the remedial work on the LOOW site to protect the environment and health and safety of local residents. In 2006, Slaughter secured $100,000 to begin the Community LOOW Project, an initiative led by the Niagara County Department of Health to ensure that the LOOW site is properly investigated and remediated to safeguard the public and environment.

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