Contact: Kara Villamil, or Mona S. Rowe

Issued 12/16/97





EVENT: The opening of the new, state-of-the-art Waste Management Facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

WHEN: Thursday, December 18, 1997

Ceremony: 10 a.m. Tours: 11 a.m.

WHERE: Waste Management Facility, Brookhaven National Laboratory

DETAILS: Local elected officials and environmental regulators are expected to speak at a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the official opening of BNL's new waste management facility.

The new $13 million, 18-acre waste management facility was built with advanced environmental protection systems and features. It will improve BNL's handling of the chemical and radioactive waste that is generated in the course of scientific research and other operations.

At BNL, all such wastes are catalogued, sorted, packaged and stored in accordance with strict local, state and federal guidelines before being shipped for off-site disposal. An inspection of these operations in mid-1997 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found full compliance with regulations.

The facility will also allow Brookhaven to continue to expand its pollution-prevention and waste minimization programs. In the past three years, such efforts have cut in half the amount of hazardous waste produced by the Laboratory.

The new facility replaces the Laboratory's 50-year-old waste management facility, which, due to past waste-handling practices, contains soil and groundwater contamination that will be addressed under the Superfund environmental cleanup program.

Such contamination will be avoided at the new facility through the use of paving, curbing, containment systems and underground lining in critical areas to protect soil and groundwater.

The new facility was built by J. Kokolakis Contracting, Inc., of Rocky Point based on a design by Merrick Engineers and Architects of Los Alamos, New Mexico. It is in full compliance with Suffolk County's groundwater protection statutes, some of the most stringent in the nation.

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