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What will cost more, removing radioactive waste from the former West Valley site or monitoring what happens to the waste?

That's what a coalition of 32 environmental groups, social activists and community organizations wants local congressmen to determine.

In a letter, the coalition discounted the state Energy Research and Development Authority's bid for a congressional overhaul of the 1980 West Valley Demonstration Project Remediation Act. The coalition is worried that new legislation will not lead to full exhumation of various underground wastes and site cleanup.

The coalition is also concerned that federal agencies could soon make final site closure decisions that leave buried or leaking wastes behind at the site before the real costs and impacts are known.

The group instead is asking for an exhumation study, a full cost-accounting of cleanup options, and legal action by the Western New York congressional delegation, if necessary, to force full implementation of the 1980 cleanup act.

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