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Is DeSantis' Dusseldorf's Connection a Coincidence?

Covanta smokestack pumping out fresh black $moke.... Don't inhale!

Niagara Falls Senior Planner Thomas DeSantis went to Dusseldorf, Germany, for unknown and unspecified purposes.

Dusseldorf is home to the world famous Dusseldorf incinerator where they burn the city's garbage and convert the steam into electricity, providing free power for about 20 percent of the city.

Sometime after DeSantis came back from Dusseldorf, it was announced that Covanta Niagara, a local garbage burning plant, was expanding.

Interestingly, Covanta uses the Dusseldorf incinerator right here in Niagara Falls and will use it for its bold new plan to accept New York City garbage to burn.

DeSantis led a strong planning board effort to approve Covanta's expansion, despite objections about rats and air pollution from people who live near the plant on 56th Street in LaSalle.

Thanks to DeSantis' efforts, Covanta Niagara convinced the Niagara County IDA to approve $8 million in tax incentives for their $10 million expansion project, a plan warmly supported by the "Green" mayor, Paul Dyster.

The people of Niagara Falls will subsidize 80 percent of Covanta's expansion, which includes building new railroad tracks, a new 190-foot, pollution-spewing smokestack and a new Dusseldorf furnace.

Did DeSantis earn any consulting fees for Covanta's new $2 million Dusseldorf furnace? How would we know? When this by- the-book planner installed a $36,000 new kitchen in his home, he did it on the sly. It was only after the Niagara Falls Reporter caught him that he confessed and paid the fines and the permit fees.

Having traveled to Dusseldorf, DeSantis may have learned something about the garbage burning operations there.

It could be coincidence, but the next thing you know is he is pushing for a garbage-burning plant with a Dusseldorf furnace in Niagara Falls.

According to his resume, DeSantis is "currently a participating member of the U.S.-German Bilateral Working Group on Sustainable Revitalization through US-EPA."

If DeSantis went to Dusseldorf to participate in matters related to how they burn garbage and convert it into electricity in order to help the people of Niagara Falls, it is odd he never mentioned it at any of the public meetings where he overrode the people's objections to the pollution and rats. Nor did DeSantis ever mention the huge difference between the way they burn garbage in Dusseldorf and the way he approved Covanta Niagara burning garbage here. In contrast to DeSantis' plan for Niagara, in Dusseldorf, they burn their own garbage and give the people free electricity - a sort of offset for the pollution that burning garbage creates.

Under DeSantis' plan, Covanta Niagara takes in other cities' garbage (as well as our own), more than doubling the burning and the pollution, and then, instead of giving free electricity to the people, Covanta sells it to other industrial companies who are also polluters.

Thus, we get more pollution and more garbage.

Who does Tom DeSantis represent?

According to the DeSantis' plan, instead of getting free electricity, the people of Niagara Falls will end up subsidizing $8 million out of the $10 million Covanta garbage burning expansion.

So, other than Covanta, does someone profit?

Is it a coincidence that DeSantis went to Dusseldorf?

Calls to the office of Senior Planner Thomas DeSantis have not been returned.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Feb 11, 2014