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Timeline: Pennsylvania 'junkyard dog' pushes to rid town of nuclear waste

Self-described "mad junkyard dog" Patty Ameno has been on a mission to clean up her hometown's nuclear waste

APOLLO, Pa. – There’s a toxic legacy of the Cold War still buried beneath about two dozen American communities. They’re the last of several hundred sites that were tied to nuclear weapons production during that tense time.

Patty Ameno stands in front of her childhood home holding a photo that shows barrels stored outside the nuclear weapons plant that used to be across the street.
America Tonight

One site lies in the Kiski Valley, east of Pittsburgh, where an unlikely champion stands.

For 27 years, activist Patty Ameno has led a fight to rid her hometown of radioactive nuclear waste left behind by a Cold War-era weapons factory. She’s probed the various government organizations involved – the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency – to find out why this cleanup has been so slow. She’s done it all with a certain doggedness - one that’s amassed her reams of documents and even gotten her arrested.

"The truth is a broken record," Ameno said. "It may sometimes stand alone, but it always stands. And here I am still. I don't think I've been wrong one time. Let the history show that I haven't been."

Explore the history of Apollo's nuclear waste and Ameno's efforts to get it cleaned up:

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