Subdivision 650 Feet from Toxic Landfill Starts Review Process in Wheatfield

Please click the link below to subscribe to a FREE PDF version of each print edition of the Niagara Reporter



For years people have been complaining about the health of their families on the street that divides Wheatfield and North Tonawanda.

Nearby, along Niagara Falls Blvd. is a large, suspiciously vacant area of green space — the infamous Niagara Sanitation Landfill — where for decades following World War II area chemical companies II trucked and dumped their toxic byproducts.

Homes were also built and and sold nearby without the new occupants knowing what lurked beneath the soil in that large, vacant area out back.

Deadly Love Canal toxic waste got shipped to the Wheatfield landfill just a few miles away when the 102nd Street site on the edge of Niagara Falls started remediation in 1979.

One family still living on Forbes Street today fled their Love Canal neighborhood only to find out their new home in Wheatfield’s semi-rural setting abutted another toxic landfill.

Other families have left — abandoning their homes — and have reported improving health.

Families on Forbes do not agree with the DEC’s recent declaration that chemicals from the landfill are not migrating to nearby residences based on soil tests, with the agency measuring soil only three inches deep.

So is the new 23-home subdivision 650 feet from one of the worst waste dumps in Niagara County a good idea?

“I can’t say yes or no because the zoning is in place,” said Wheatfield Supervisor Don MacSwan “We have to wait until all the information comes in,” he said.

It isn’t the first time the “Aubrey Way” project has come before the Wheatfield town board. Landowner Bob Weaver tried to build 23 homes there in 2015 but the motion to do what happened Monday night failed to get a second from any board member.

“Nothing has changed,” said one woman during the public comment period of Monday’s town board meeting. “Why would will we go forward? Especially with all the Wilrose Court (flooding) problems.” (Some residents have even called for a town moratorium on construction until Wheatfield’s problems with unchecked over-development, creating suburban like areas in Wheatfield’s rural environment, has been comprehensively addressed.)

“That was a mistake,” said MacSwan on Monday night before the vote. “At that time the board took no action. That was incorrect.”

“The board doesn’t have a choice,” said MacSwan. “Anybody has a right to go forward with the SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review) process.” 

“He (Weaver) has had soil tests done, and that will all come forward during the environmental review process,” said MacSwan. 

The motion to move the Aubrey Way subdivision forward in the SEQR process was made Monday by MacSwan and seconded by Curt Doktor, who were both elected in November after facing no competition in the primaries or the general election. Town board members Larry Helwig and Randy Retzlaff voted to approve while Gilbert Doucet was not present.








0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
.wpzoom (color:black;}