United States Senator Chuck Schumer is introducing legislation to kick the Federal Superfund Program up a notch.
The Superfund is the program that helps communities clean up and revitalize contaminated industrial sites -- an expensive proposition that's usually beyond the resources of local governments. But critics say it's been sorely underfunded for years.
Schumer will be using an abandoned and heavily-contaminated chemical plant in Holley as a backdrop on Thursday to support his push for more funding through the federal budget process. The Diaz Chemical Company was once the village's biggest employer, until an explosion in 2003 blew a toxic precursor chemical used in pharmaceutical manufacturing into the air. The toxic mix made the neighbors sick and contaminated their homes.
Diaz became a superfund site, but even though cleanup plans are all approved and in place it's sat abandoned for more than ten years because there's no money in the program to pay for the cleanup work.