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EPA Will Relocate Six Lockport Families

10:42 PM, Jul 26, 2013   |    comments
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LOCKPORT, NY -- Friday, six Lockport families found out the Environmental Protection Agency will pay to move them into new homes.

The neighbors live along the contaminated Eighteenmile Creek in Lockport.

When Lockport got five inches of rain June 28, James Stiles' yard transformed into a two-and-a-half foot deep pond filled with contaminated creek water full of hazardous waste.

"There are cancer-causing agents in there. My family owned this home before. My mother, father and my mother was actually diagnosed with breast cancer. Then, after she fought that battle and won, she was diagnosed with MS," says Stiles.

Stiles grew up in Lockport along Eighteenmile Creek. It is something his three-year-old son won't get to experience.

"I could care less about the property and everything, but my family's safety is number one," says Stiles.

Eighteenmile Creek is now an EPA Superfund site, which Senator Chuck Schumer is working with the EPA to clean up and help the homeowners.

"EPA, they first just wanted to let them stay there and cover the place over with dirt and stuff. And that wouldn't have made any sense. First, if we have another storm, things would go down the drain, and second, you'd still have the toxins there," says Schumer.

Friday, the government announced it will relocate the people who live in six homes on Water Street, including Stiles.

Schumer's office says the cost to taxpayers at a quarter of a million dollars is much lower than what capping the soil would've been.

Stiles is relieved he will no longer have to plead his case to the EPA, and his family can start fresh somewhere new.

"I like knowing that I'm in a healthy and safe environment, too, so you can't put a price tag on that and memories are made no matter where at, so you know I'll make some more," says Stiles.

This is just the first of three phases of cleanup. The homeowners will find out more about how this process works at an August 13 meeting.

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