Casey Pushes for Funds to Cleanup Abandoned Armstrong County Nuclear Site

In Letter to Key Senate Committee, Casey Calls on Congress to Adequately Fund Program that is Crucial to SLDA Cleanup / Securing Necessary Resources in Budget Will be Critical to Cleanup Effort

Casey Pushes for Funds to Cleanup Abandoned Armstrong County Nuclear Site

Washington DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on a key congressional committee to adequately fund cleanup of Armstrong County’s abandoned nuclear site, the Shallow Land Disposal Area (SLDA), in its upcoming budget. The request comes after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) IG released a report, which Senator Casey secured, revealing a lack of adequate records on the site and that the previous remediation plan significantly underestimated the material buried there. As the Appropriations Committee begins work on the fiscal year 2015 budget (FY15), securing adequate resources will be a critical step in the cleanup process. The program, the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP), is managed by the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).  In Fiscal Year 2014 the FUSRAP program received $103 million in federal funding.

“The residents of Armstrong County who live near the Shallow Land Disposal Area deserve to have this site cleaned up,” Senator Casey said. “I’m urging the Appropriations Committee to dedicate the necessary resources to this program. Securing these funds in the FY15 budget will lay a foundation for cleaning up the SLDA.”

The Honorable Barbara Mikulski
Chairwoman
Committee on Appropriations

The Honorable Richard Shelby
Vice Chairman
Committee on Appropriations

The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
Chairwoman
Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development

The Honorable Lamar Alexander
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development

Dear Chairwomen, Vice Chairman, and Ranking Member:

As the Subcommittee prepares the Fiscal Year 2015 Energy and Water Appropriations bill, I urge you to provide robust funding for the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) managed by the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).  In Fiscal Year 2014 the FUSRAP program received $103 million in federal funding.

The USACE, under the authorization of the FUSRAP, has been the lead governmental agency on the evaluation, remediation, and clean-up of radioactive waste at the Shallow Land Disposal Area (SLDA) in Parks Township, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, since 2002.  In September 2011, the Pittsburgh District of the USACE determined that hazardous material was mishandled by a project contractor.  At the same time, the USACE also encountered higher quantities of complex nuclear material at the site than originally expected.  These troubling developments led the USACE to halt the project.  Unfortunately, many other FUSRAP sites across the nation have also had delays that have prolonged their remediation.  The SLDA and many other projects across the country will require significant FUSRAP funding to ensure that remediation can proceed as quickly and effectively as possible. 

In closing, let me take this opportunity to thank you for your consideration of my request.  It is imperative that this program get the funding it needs in order to ensure proper remediation of these locations so that the taxpayers who live near these sites get can have the peace of mind they deserve.  I stand ready to provide any additional information to the Committee.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator

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