Quasar project makes Wheatfield residents queasy

WHEATFIELD, N.Y. (WIVB) - Quasar Energy Group is hoping to build a new five million gallon storage tank for its fertilizer.

The company’s Wheatfield facility takes in waste from local municipalities and uses bacteria to break it down. The result is biogas that turns into electricity. What’s left over becomes fertilizer.

“We’re very proud of what we do at Quasar. We’re creating renewable energy, we’re helping municipalities save money, and businesses and we provide a tremendous benefit to society,” said Nate Carr, the Bio Mass Account Executive for Quasar Energy Group.

At a meeting Monday night, company officials were hoping to ease residents concerns.

“There’s a lot of misinformation out there and that’s what this is about is talking about how our products are very safe,” said Carr.

Wheatfield resident Paul Wilson argued, “Who knows what’s in this product. I mean, it all starts out good, but like everything else, like Love Canal, they said there wouldn’t be anything wrong with it. Twenty, 30 years down the road it’s come back to haunt us.”

Assemblyman John Ceretto issued a statement saying:

“I stand with the multitudes of local residents who have and continue to voice their concerns regarding the safety and environmental issues involved with using human waste as fertilizer. This practice poses a potential public health risk and I believe that Quasar should stop this practice immediately until a full environmental and public health review can be undertaken.”

As residents left the meeting, many were just as skeptical as when they came.

“They danced around everything,” said Terry Seal, who lives in Wheatfield.

“Regulations in New York State on this topic are extremely poor. Even if we had mountains of wonderful regulations, we don’t have the DEC staff to enforce the regulations. I believe the potential for disaster is very high,” added Charley Tarr.

Carr says they’ll be holding more meetings for residents and conducting tours of the Wheatfield plant. In order for the storage tank to be built, the town board and DEC will need to approve it.

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