The citizens’ committee which for years has urged removal of nuclear waste from a federally owned Lewiston site issued a statement Thursday thanking Assistant Secretary of the Army R.D. James for moving ahead with the project.

James’ signature on the plan late Monday “was like manna from heaven,” said Amy H. Witryol, secretary of the Lake Ontario Ordnance Works Restoration Advisory Board.

James’ action came after complaints last week from the board and the Niagara County Legislature about a 39-month wait for approval of the $490 million Corps of Engineers plan to clean up the Niagara Falls Storage Site on Pletcher Road. It has been the repository of waste from the World War II atomic bomb project. Congress, however, may not appropriate the funding until 2025, a Corps official said.

Read the press release from the Lake Ontario Ordnance Works Restoration Advisory Board here.