NIAGARA COUNTY — Twenty property owners in Niagara Falls, Lewiston and Grand Island have filed a lawsuit charging that three companies acted with gross recklessness by directly or indirectly disposing of radioactive wastes that they knew posed a danger to human health and the environment.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York on behalf of 28 plaintiffs who own or share homes, businesses and vacant land in the affected communities.

Investigative Post reported in July 2016 that government documents show the federal Department of Energy and state health and environmental officials have known for almost four decades that at least 60 properties throughout Niagara County and Grand Island are contaminated with radioactive material that resembles gravel. The radioactivity at these properties ranges from three to more than 70 times what people are naturally exposed to in the local environment.

The lawsuit states that Union Carbide, Occidental Chemical Corporation and Bayer Cropscience Inc, had processed radioactive ore or radioactive materials in and around Niagara County at various times in the 1900s.

Read the entire story on Investigative Post's website here.