EPA suspends work at radioactive sites in Niagara County

LEWISTON, N.Y. (WIVB) — People living in Lewiston are demanding transparency with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA temporarily stopped the clean up process at several radioactive sites in Niagara County.

“Well I think it’s terrible. Nobody wants to live here, they’re scared and you can’t blame them, we don’t know what we’re living on,” said Donna Duncan, Lewiston resident.

It’s believed that in the early 1960’s, slag, a type of waste, from former industrial facilities was used as fill before development.

Homes near the site tested positive for radon, some with higher than normal levels.

The EPA planned to clean up the site. A fence was installed to minimize potential exposure, but the work has stopped.

The EPA told News 4 they suspended the project because they didn’t have enough money to complete it.

Some homeowners were notified either by e-mail or in person, but others were not notified at all.

Just down the road from the Lewiston site, clean up also halted at a site on Niagara Falls Boulevard near the Rapids Bowling alley.

Residents say their concerns are growing and they want the EPA to finish the job.

“Yeah it’s a concern, I mean point blank, if they were there first off to start cleaning it up, they should finish it,” said Andrew Kroetsch, Lewiston resident.

“How can you run out of money? These people have to live like this, you know, somebody should step in” said Duncan.

“Why are they keeping it fenced off if they’re not going to remedy the situation,” said Bernard Mullane, Lewiston Resident.

The EPA couldn’t say when they will be back to clean up the sites, but they said they intend to return to the sites in 2018. They also said the radioactive slag material does not pose any significant health risks.