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Hazardous waste cleanup is a concern for all

Editor:

I am currently a senior at West Valley Central School. I have recently been reading articles about the landfills and waste sites in the area and across the region. I am deeply concerned, not only about my neighborhood, but about the region, also.

I fear about how the West Valley Demonstration Project has turned out, so far. The radioactive waste from the West Valley nuclear storage facility in Cattaraugus County could someday endanger the Great Lakes.

The part that concerns me the most is that the majority of these waste sites are located in the Great Lakes watershed, which is the largest source of fresh water in the world.

I believe that the DOE should start taking responsibility and stop underfunding the West Valley Demonstration Project. The project itself needs at least $75 million, per year, to fully clean up the site.

In the year 2010, the DOE committed to funding the project for the following 10 years. My question is, what exactly happened to this “commitment?” The DOE has underfunded the project by millions, each year. The drops in funding are not like the other DOE cleanup sites, which have had funding increased or been sustained.

My other concern is the town of Porter. In this town, a hazardous waste landfill operated under three companies. These hazardous wastes are close to Lake Ontario, including Love Canal samples, lead, medical waste, contaminated soil and many more poisonous wastes. The CWM wants a second site, which I believe is bad for the environment. They say it will help boom the economy, but you have to look at the bigger picture. What if the first landfill leaks? It is man-made, after all, and could end up hurting our water supply, in the future.

I appreciate your time in reading this letter. I believe we should move waste to more desolate areas like Utah and Nevada. Having chemical waste so close to home is scary and should be funded, immediately. They need to get this waste out.

Taylor Williams
West Valley
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