YOUNGSTOWN -- The U.S. Department of Energy has postponed train shipments of radioactive waste that were scheduled to travel through the Mahoning Valley.
Walter Duzzny, director of the Mahoning County Emergency Management Agency, said his office was notified of the delay by the energy department Thursday.
Duzzny was told the postponement would last until the threat of terrorist attack subsides. Even then, shipments will be overseen by a new Cabinet post devoted to "homeland defense," which President Bush announced in his speech to the nation Thursday evening. The president named Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge to the post.
"Given what happened on Sept. 11, I think [the shipment plan] warrants re-evaluation," said Duzzny.
Shipments of waste were scheduled to travel from New York, through Ohio, to the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, although few here would have been notified of the shipment date.
Duzzny said such transfers have not happened so far and he doesn't expect them to happen anytime soon.
"We will be the local coordinating agency when, and if, the shipments resume," he said.