Hundreds turn out to oppose landfill expansion

LEWISTON, N.Y. (WIVB) – More than 500 people packed the Lewiston-Porter High School auditorium in the afternoon, and then again on Wednesday evening, for the only two public hearings on a request by CWM to expand its landfill.

The company is about to run out of space and has requested permission from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to fill 43 more acres. That would keep the trucks coming in for 20 more years.

“Please think of us, our health and our safety.” said Lewiston Town Supervisor, Dennis Brochey. “Give us back our town and our county.”

This landfill doesn’t take in household garbage. It is strictly industrial hazardous waste, including benzine and lead. Half of it comes from out-of-state because there aren’t many places that take it.

DEC Deputy Commissioner Eugene Leff says CWM has a decent enough safety record and the state is leaning toward approving this.

“I can say that to site a landfill in a new location would be extremely challenging,” Leff said.

The site on Blamer Road in the Town of Porter already has radioactive waste capped off from the 1940s and 50s.

“Love Canal is a prime example that the best technology that we think we know doesn’t necessarily work out in the long term and there could be definitely be leaks,” said Lewiston resident Michael Gurr.

Theresa Mariani’s husband has worked there for 25 years.

“You got all these employees who work there. If it’s that hazardous and toxic, everyone would be dying in that plant, and everyone’s fine. Everyone’s healthy,” he said.

The State DEC will continue to accept written comments until September 5. A decision may take several months.

If the request is granted, CWM would spend several more months creating the new landfill on its property.

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