Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — In its plan, the EPA is proposing to buy six residential properties that are privately owned, two of which by the same owner. The agency will permanently relocate affected residents, demolish the homes and excavate the contaminated soil. Then a two-phased cleanup period will take place.
Three other properties, which are owned by the City of Lockport and are vacant and contain no buildings, will also be cleaned up.
The EPA will hold a public meeting on Aug. 13 to explain the proposed plan and take public comments. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the 4-H Training Center at the Niagara County Fairgrounds, 4487 Lake Ave. The plan is viewable at the Lockport Public Library and on the EPA website.
Written comments postmarked by Aug. 26 may be mailed to Thomas Taccone, remedial project manager, U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2, 290 Broadway, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10007-1866. Comments may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All comments will be accepted until Aug. 26.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said he was "pleased the EPA heeded my call and is proposing as part of their remedial action plan the relocation of these residents, which prioritizes safety and is the far more cost-effective option."
Two weeks ago, Schumer wrote a letter to acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe stating that the EPA should move residents to protect their health and safety. Doing so would be a cheaper short-term option, Schumer wrote, but it’s also more cost-effective over the long-term. The cost to purchase all the homes is estimated at only $250,000 but a temporary soil cap would cost approximately $1.2 million and could be washed away by future flooding, the senator wrote.
“The EPA’s decision to move the residents away from contamination first and then clean up the contaminated site is a smart choice for the health and safety of Western New Yorkers,” Schumer said. “This proposed solution takes these residents out of harms’ way, and avoids a course of action that would have left them exposed to hazardous contamination. These homeowners who have rightfully been concerned about contamination in their yards, drinking water and flooded basements are now going to get the relief and peace of mind they deserve.”