UB Toxicology Research Center Receives Grant to Train Workers In Hazardous Materials Remediation

Release Date: December 3, 1993 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a grant to the University at Buffalo Toxicology Research Center to train workers who will be remediating sites containing hazardous and radioactive wastes from the Manhattan Project and other government and industrial projects.

The grant provides $275,000 per year for two years to conduct health and safety training for approximately 2,700 workers who will be working at sites in Tonawanda, West Valley and other locations throughout New York State.

"Our role is to train everyone who might be involved in handling waste, disposing of it and transporting it, as well as those who are responsible in the surrounding communities," said Leonard E. Amborski, Ph.D., research scientist at the Toxicology Research Center. "Police, fire, emergency medical and maintenance personnel also will require training."

The grant is being administered by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences under a program to clean up so-called FUSRAP (Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Project) sites around the United States.

In Western New York, workers will be carrying out remediation at four sites in Tonawanda: at the Linde Center, Ashland 1, Ashland 2 and Seaway Industrial Park. The Linde site was a uranium processing facility for the Manhattan Project and waste was later disposed of there and at the Ashland and Seaway sites.

Remediation at West Valley includes the solidification of high-level radioactive waste produced by the reprocessing of nuclear fuel and now stored in underground tanks at the old nuclear fuel plant.

"We will support training efforts, not only for workers and transporters at sites, but also for emergency responders who may have to respond to emergencies either on-site or off-site, when materials are transported elsewhere," said Paul J. Kostyniak, Ph.D., director of the Toxicology Research Center and UB associate professor of pharmacology and therapeutics.

Both the Tonawanda and West Valley sites had undergone remediation in the 1960s, Kostyniak explained. The new proposed remediation plans will bring those sites up to more stringent environmental standards that have been implemented since then.

"The center has extensive experience in training workers and supervisors to work safely in hazardous and radiologic waste remediation, and lead and asbestos abatement, as well as in training emergency responders," said Joseph A. Syracuse, Ph.D., director of hazardous materials training for the center.

The Toxicology Research Center has presented federal- and state-approved training and certification programs for almost 1,000 workers throughout New York State.

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