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OCT 14- OCT 21, 2014

Destino, Brochey Join CWM Opponents In Seeking Extension of Permit Process

By Tony Farina

October 14, 2014

Johnny Destino and Dennis Brochey discuss the effort to delay the decision on granting CWM a permit. The company seeking a DEC permit to take in more hazardous waste.

The opposition to the proposed expansion of Chemical Waste Management’s Town of Porter hazardous waste landfill is still a rallying point for environmental interests and many other citizens and public officials concerned with the future safety of nearby schools and the impact on tourism, farming, and the Great Lakes with 44 more acres of toxic waste.

Chemical Waste Management wants to expand its 710-acre landfill by 44 acres, enabling it to accept more than four million more tons of hazardous waste at the site, located just 10 miles from Lake Ontario and the Great Lakes—which contain 20 percent of the liquid fresh water of the planet. It is also in close proximity to the Lewiston-Porter Schools and the Niagara River.

According to the Sierra Club Niagara Group, Chemical Waste Management has already discharged PCBs into the nearby water supply and “the EPA has said all landfills eventually leak, and this process has already begun at CWM.”

State Senate candidate Johnny Destino and Lewiston Mayor Dennis Brochey joined with representatives from several local groups on Monday (Oct. 13) at Lewiston’s Hennepin Park Gazebo to report that opponents have requested more time for public comment from the State’s Department of Environmental Conservation to examine the 30,000 pages of documents associated with the permit application from CWM.

April Fideli, president of Residents for Responsible Government (RRG), said opponents to the expansion are seeking an additional 90 days for the public comment period, extending the current deadline of Oct. 20 to Jan. 20, 2015. She said that so far the state has not responded to a Sept. 24 letter seeking the extension.

Both Destino, a candidate for the 62nd State Senate District that includes all of Niagara County, and Supervisor Brochey expressed their concern for the health and safety of the region that could be compromised by four million more tons of potentially dangerous toxic waste.

Destino expressed concerns about the possible negative impact to the surrounding $120 million agricultural industry and said the expansion of the landfill “may impact our ability to grow the region,” saying “we have already received several generations of toxic waste and that’s enough. It’s time to put an end to being the state’s dumping ground.”

Supervisor Brochey said he was concerned with the potential environmental danger posed by the new landfill, and joined with the others in requesting more time to study the thousands of pages of documents associated with the CWM permit application.

A total of 18 groups including the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council, the League of Women Voters, and the Western New York Environmental Alliance joined with RRG in requesting the extension.

CWM spokesman Lori Caso is on the record saying “as the state’s only hazardous waste landfill and with the current facility running out of space, there is a need for the additional 44 acres.

The company recently defended their expansion efforts in a letter to the Niagara Falls Reporter, saying the toxic waste dump provides safe disposal for manufacturers, for cleanup projects, and a lot of people depend on CWM to provide that service.

While the expansion could provide some temporary construction jobs, it is the long-term view of many of the opponents that in reality, the potentially dangerous new waste site could negatively affect the local economy, starting with the agricultural industry which is the backbone of the region. And what price do you put on a safe environment for nearby schools and public waters, they ask? We’ll keep you posted.

 

 

 

 

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