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EPA probes Lewiston cemetery

LEWISTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began another round of soil testing last week at Holy Trinity Cemetery on Robert Avenue in Lewiston.

The cemetery is believed to be one of several sites in the Lewiston and Niagara Falls areas where radioactive slag generated at local industries may have been used as fill in the early 1960s. The EPA said the radioactivity has been measured at “naturally occurring levels” and “poses no significant exposure or health risk to the public at the site’s current condition.”

The state departments of Health and Environmental Conservation surveyed the cemetery in 2013 and referred the matter to the EPA, which from December 2013 through May 2014 conducted tests at the site. The results ruled out placing the cemetery on the national Superfund list.

The current tests, focused on a dirt road from the eastern edge of the cemetery toward the Niagara Expressway and on a location east of Robert Avenue, are meant to determine whether removal of buried material is warranted.