Low-Level Radioactive Waste Protest Collection
December 1988 marked the beginning of an important time in Allegany County. New York State had chosen 3 sites within the county as potential locations for a low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) storage facility. Over the next two years, the citizens successfully rallied against the State to prevent this from happening. They developed a model of non-violent grassroots protesting involving civil disobedience that became well-known throughout the United States. The "bump the dump" fight, as it became known, affected numerous lives and came to closure in 1992 when a U.S. Supreme Court decision amended a federal law that had required states to keep the LLRW material within their own boundaries.
In 2001, the NYS Documentary Heritage Program awarded a grant to the Allegany County Historian's Office, Herrick Memorial Library, and Hinkle Memorial Library to document existing material related to the protest. Altogether, 41. 6 cu.ft. of material in a wide range of forms was surveyed, including music, videos, posters, newsletters, correspondence, reports, maps, memorabilia, etc.
This guide is the end result of the project. It describes the collections open to the public that document the LLRW protest in Allegany County.
There are some privately held collections also. Please contact Special Collections, Herrick Memorial Library for further information.
Hundreds of people devoted an incredible amount of time and energy to the task of preventing a LLRW facility from being built in our area. Their efforts reached the Supreme Court and has made the federal government reconsider its position on such material. In appreciation, this project is dedicated to them. Thank you!
Photo: L.J. Haggstrom, Angelica Booster News (used with permission)
Allegany County Historian
Located in Belmont, the Historian's Office collects material on subjects of county-wide historical interest and/or importance. Its LLRW collection contains Concerned Citizens of Allegany County newsletters, NYS Siting Commission reports, videotapes (VHS), newspaper clippings from area newspapers, and slides. (3.0 cu ft) 1989-91.
Herrick Memorial Library
Located at Alfred University, the Special Collections/Archives department also collected material related to the LLRW protest. This collection contains posters and flyers; Alfred University memoranda; a student art project; newsletters: Stone & Sling, Allegany!, Reporter, Intervenor, Don't Waste New York, Concerned Citizens of Allegany County; meeting minutes: NYS LLRW Advisory Committee and NYS Siting Commission; newspaper clippings; reports; and videotapes (VHS). (4.3 cu ft) 1988-95.
Also at Herrick Memorial Library are the following LLRW-related collections:
Videotape (VHS) collection that includes all of the known material from the NY State Police and ACNAG's videographers. (0.8 cu ft) 1988-93.
CCAC office files, buttons, BANDITS music cassettes. (1.0 cu ft)
News clippings, correspondence and technical reports related to the Hennard family's involvement. (0.2 cu ft)
Articles, publications, audiocassettes, photographs, correspondence, posters that document the Hennard's involvement. (2 cu ft)
Materials (logs, master tapes, articles, VHS tapes) used to create the LLRW video documentary "My Name is Allegany County." (4.2 cu ft) 1989-93.
Correspondence, letters to the editor, extensive research related to radioactivity, particularly health-related issues (illustrates the extent to which the protestors were informed on the issue), bumper stickers, posters, etc. (2 cu.ft.), 1989 - 92.
Primary material, mostly interview transcripts, used for the 2001 book, "Linked Arms," that chronicles the protest. (1.0 cu ft) 1989-91, 1995-97.
Original legal material related to local laws banning radioactive waste in 7 Allegany County towns. Additional material referencing presentations to the Allegany County Planning Board, Corning Community College, and media reports. (0.2 cu ft) 1989-93.
Material related to an individual's participation in the protest: photographs, news clippings, t-shirts, buttons, posters, correspondence, press releases. (0.5 cu ft) 1988-93.
Published reports, documents, articles, meeting minutes, photographs, slides, maps, and correspondence gathered by the Allegany County Soil & Water Conservation District to support its work related to the proposed LLRW dump. (2.0 cu ft) 1987-93.
Newsletters, newspaper articles, correspondence, posters, research files, and reports related to a family's involvement with the protest. (1.2 cu ft) 1989-90.
Information related to ACNAG, political cartoons, informational packets produced by New York State, miscellaneous press releases and news articles. (0.2 cu ft) 1988-89.
Allegany County Historian
Herrick Memorial Library
Yellow Mask Illustration: Designed by Hope Zaccagni, worn by protestors at the pivotal April 5, 1990 action in Caneadea, NY. (used with permission)