State Senator Catharine Young (R,I,C-Olean) said that "a good first step" has been taken by the U.S. Department of Energy’s awarding of a partial cleanup contract at West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP), but she urged DOE to put in place a plan that entirely cleans up the site for the sake of the community and the environment.
"Having the contract in place with this newly-formed company, West Valley Environmental Services, is a step forward because it’s a four-year agreement. We’ve been living with year-to-year contracts that have hindered long-term planning. I also urge West Valley Environmental Services to maintain the current workforce with this $160 million federal allotment so more complex cleanup activities can be addressed," Sen. Young said.
"While the new contract will provide some waste disposition, decontamination, deactivation and disposal of facilities, there’s much more that must be tackled," Sen. Young said.
She cited removing the high level waste canisters in the main process building so that structure may be removed, excavating the migrating contaminated ground water plume that is under the building, digging out radioactive underground tanks, and cleaning up the disposal area.
"These tasks are critical to thoroughly addressing the contamination problems that have plagued us for so long. Leaving cleanup undone would be a terrible tragedy for Western New York. The momentum from this new contract should be an impetus to finally and completely solving the West Valley Demonstration Project," Sen. Young said.