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Tonawanda, New York, Site

Tonawanda, NY, Site location map

Background—The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) remediated the Tonawanda, New York, Site under the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP). FUSRAP was established in 1974 to remediate sites where radioactive contamination remained from Manhattan Project and U.S. Atomic Energy Commission operations.

History—Between 1942 and 1946, USACE Manhattan Engineer District and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission contracted Linde Air Products Division of Union Carbide to process uranium ore. Processing and disposal activities created contamination in portions of the company’s property and buildings. Contaminated liquid waste was disposed of through onsite storm sewers, sanitary sewers, and injection wells. Cleanup and relocation of solid processing wastes caused elevated levels of radionuclides in other areas of Tonawanda where the waste was disposed (e.g., Tonawanda North Units 1 and 2).
DOE began Tonawanda site cleanup by performing demolition, decontamination, and excavation of structures and soil. Approximately 5,110 tons of building rubble, contaminated soil, and soil-like material were shipped by rail to a disposal facility in Clive, Utah. DOE conducted site investigations and began initial cleanup phases until Congress transferred the responsibility to USACE in 1997. Upon assuming cleanup responsibilities, USACE shipped approximately 344,529 tons of radiologically contaminated soil and debris by rail to a Blanding, Utah disposal cell.

USACE provided a site closeout report that outlines a record of all removal and cleanup activities conducted at the Tonawanda site. The site transferred to DOE Office of Legacy Management (LM) for long-term surveillance and maintenance (LTS&M) in March 2017.

Final Conditions—
USACE remediated the Tonawanda site under FUSRAP in compliance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. In March 2017, USACE transferred responsibility for long-term stewardship of the Tonawanda site to LM. No monitoring, maintenance, or site inspections are required at the site. LM’s LTS&M responsibilities consist of managing site records, responding to stakeholder inquiries, and performing additional activities that align with LM’s mission to protect human health and the environment.

For more information about the Tonawanda Site, view the fact sheet.

Last Updated: 9/8/2017