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Student worried about hazardous waste cleanup

Editor:

I am a student at West Valley Central School and I have been a resident of West Valley, my whole life. I am writing to voice my concerns about the West Valley Demonstration Project and the local and regional environmental concerns.

The concern that citizens in our community, or even the employees at the West Valley Demonstration Project, could be facing health risks because of this issue, seems unnecessary. Also, the issue may not be a concern for only West Valley residents, but all people in Western New York. If any nuclear waste were to leak into any nearby rivers, then the issue could travel to our Great Lakes and into people’s drinking water.

Although the demonstration project in West Valley is an important issue, it is not the only concern, for Western New York.

The town of Porter has a huge landfill and even wants to expand it. This is a very dangerous idea, especially since the town is close to Lake Ontario. This landfill includes hazardous waste, such as medical waste, PCB poisons, lead and even more dangerous toxins. I believe this landfill has spiraled out of control and the proposition to expand it even more would affect our region very negatively.

I believe, regionally and locally, we need to take action to clean up this mess. I am very concerned for the people of West Valley and surrounding towns. It would be horrible to see these people put into danger over this issue. Having West Valley be the most toxic place in Western New York is unacceptable, in my opinion.

The DOE promised $75 million per year, but last year, we only received $64 million and they plan to fund us only $47 million, next year. The cut in funding is slowing down the clean up process. We need to try to speed up the process and move the hazardous waste out to Utah and Nevada.

I appreciate your cooperation toward the local and regional issue. I hope to see progress, in the near future. I believe Western New York shouldn’t be the dumping ground for the entire nation. Thank you for your time.

Kristen Kowalski
West Valley
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