Residents voice concerns about Wheatfield waste facility

WHEATFIELD, N.Y. (WIVB) - Residents gathered at the Shawnee Fire Hall on Saturday to voice their concerns about Quasar Energy Group.

The company is in the process of trying to create a storage tank for fertilizer at their Wheatfield location.

Many residents are concerned it will harm them, especially if it’s used on their crops.

“I’m concerned about our farm lands; I’m concerned about what we put on our farm lands. I’m concerned about the future,” said Helene Petrakais.

Another concerned citizen, John Wozniak said, “They only talk about organic substances what about the inorganic substances? What’s the shelf life? What’s the decay ratio? They don’t tell you that.”

Republican State Senator George Maziarz was also at the meeting. He said after listening to the residents, he plans to ask the Department of Environmental Conservation to get involved.

“I’m asking the DEC to have a moratorium on issuing any permits for the spreading of this material anywhere in Western New York at this particular time,” said Maziarz.

Nate Carr, the Biomass Account Executive for Quasar Energy Group said their operations won’t cause any safety or health hazards.

“We work within the rules that have been put in place by the regulating authorities mainly the US EPA and the New York State DEC. They put these regulations in place to protect public health and that’s what we operate within,” said Carr.

Quasar’s Wheatfield facility takes in waste from local municipalities and uses bacteria to break it down. It creates biogas that turns into electricity. The leftover material becomes fertilizer.

Carr said they need a five million gallon storage tank to hold the fertilizer when it’s not being used.

Carr also explained that he’s open to listen to people’s concerns about the product and said it won’t contaminate the soil.

“Quasar has never had any issues in the past with any sort of soil contamination from our process and we don’t anticipate any in the future.”

Quasar Energy will hold a public hearing about this topic on Monday, April 7 at the Wheatfield Community Center at 7p.m.

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