Tonawanda News

Letters to the Editor

March 26, 2007

YOUR VIEW: Reader letters published March 26

Corps will listen to local concerns

The Buffalo district U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed the proposed plan for the Tonawanda Landfill and releases this plan for public review and comment todayMarch 26.

This proposal details the Corps’ recommendations for the radionuclide residues found at the landfill. Although the normal public review period is 30 days, I have received numerous requests to extend this period to ensure an adequate public review. As a result of these requests, I will extend the review period to 90 days — from today to June 26.

Additionally, I will hold public comment meeting on April 25.

It is important to understand that the proposed plan is just one phase in a lengthy process of investigating a site. The proposed plan is not a final decision. In fact, the Corps will not reach a final decision until we carefully review and evaluate all comments received about the proposal.

We are not only open to public comment, we earnestly solicit it. We understand that the best solution can only be achieved after listening to all ideas and concerns.

The Corps has been investigating the Tonawanda Landfill and Mudflats Area since 1999 as part of the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program. The purpose of FUSRAP is to investigate sites where work was performed as part of the nation’s early atomic weapons and energy programs, and cleanup those sites, if necessary.

To date, the Buffalo district has successfully completed two sites and is investigating nine others. While we are proud of our successes, we also understand that there is still much work to be accomplished in this vitally important program.

Public safety remains a top priority for the Corps, and as the commander of the Buffalo district, I am personally committed to ensuring public safety. I understand that the issues and concerns of this site are larger than just the waste and risks associated with the early atomic weapons and energy programs. That is why we have been and will continue to work with other federal and state agencies, as well as local and federal elected officials, to address concerns and issues that exceed the Corps’ legal authority.

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Letters to the Editor