In March 1996, NYSERDA and DOE issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for public comment which focused on evaluating closure options for the future management of facilities at the West Valley Demonstration Project and Western New York Nuclear Service Center. During the development of the DEIS, NYSERDA perceived a need for broader public participation, above and beyond the public comments on the DEIS, to help in the development of a closure option for the Center. Forming a community advisory group seemed to be the best way to ensure that the issues and concerns of the community were understood.
To make this a reality, NYSERDA, with the support of the Department of Energy, initiated the formation of the West Valley Citizen Task Force. The West Valley Citizen Task Force, as a representative advisory group for the community, held its first meeting in late January 1997. In July 1998, the Task Force submitted its Recommendations Report, to NYSERDA and DOE, on policies, priorities, and guidelines for the clean up, closure, or long-term management of the Center. These have been summarized into Guiding Principles adopted by the Task Force.
Since 1998, the Task Force has met regularly to discuss a variety of issues regarding facility closure and long-term management of the Center.The mission of the Task Force has expanded into other areas including future site use, long-term stewardship, and regulatory issues. The group has provided several sets of comments to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on its policy statement on the decontamination and decommissioning criteria for West Valley. The Task Force is also active in keeping the Congressional Representatives from the Western New York Region informed about the ongoing issues at the West Valley Site.
In January 2010 the Department of Energy (DOE), with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) as joint-lead agency, released the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Decommissioning and Long-Term Stewardship at the West Valley Demonstration Project and Western New York Nuclear Service Center. The DOE Record of Decision was released in April 2010 and NYSERDA State Environmental Quality Review Findings Statement in May 2010. The agencies adopted a phased decision making approach.
The CTF remains actively involved in the Phase 1 Decommissioning Process and Phase 1 Studies process.