Waste Management Niagara Falls Ny

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The Portage Road side of the Allied Waste Landfill in Niagara Falls is seen in this 2013 photo. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

Waste Management Niagara Falls Ny

Waste Management Niagara Falls Ny

Neighbors this week sued Allied Waste, whose landfill off Interstate 190 in Niagara Falls has long been the source of foul odors, seeking an unspecified amount.

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Last October, the state Department of Environmental Protection fined Allied $75,000 and ordered it to stop spreading the smell, but it failed to do so, according to the lawsuit. Last year, the company said it was not easy to do.

The smell is “unpleasant, unpleasant and nauseating,” the lawsuit says, similar to “wet paper pulp, rotten eggs or rotting meat.”

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 300 homes within a 1.5-mile radius of the landfill, but that’s only the number that spoke to attorneys. The lawsuit says that around 4,000 homes could be affected by the smell.

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Waste Management Niagara Falls Ny

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CWM Chemical Services is looking to add a new hazardous waste landfill to the closed one, above, at its site on Balmer Road in Porter. Derek Gee/News file photo

A lawyer for the company that wants to build a 43.5-acre hazardous waste landfill in Niagara County said Monday that the project will have an economic impact of $1 billion over the lifetime of the landfill.

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But opponents say this figure ignores the impact of bringing another 6 million tons of toxic waste to a region with a long and notorious toxic legacy. They said it would hinder economic development, not promote it.

“I doubt that anyone watching this process would agree that a new hazardous waste site in their community would not have negative economic consequences,” scoffed Gary A. Abraham, district attorney for Niagara County, the city of Lewiston and village of Lewiston and Youngstown.

Opposing perspectives were offered on the first day of a virtual state board hearing on whether CWM Chemical Services should be given permission to dig a new landfill off Balmer Road in Porter. His application was pending in the Department of Environmental Protection for 19 years.

Waste Management Niagara Falls Ny

The company’s first landfill, which covers 47 hectares and contains 5 million tons of waste, ran out of space in 2015 after 21 years of use.

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The eight-member board, made up of three local residents and five state agency representatives, must vote on whether the CWM RMU-2 plan — the initial stand for Residue Management Unit — is necessary and in the public interest.

But his vote will only be advisory; State Environment Commissioner Basil Seggas will make a final decision on more dumpsters at the site, also called a model city, after the nearest post office.

In 2010, the DEC reported that New York State no longer needed hazardous waste landfills. But CWM disagrees, and proposes a landfill that lawyer Jeffrey Kuhn says will operate for about 29 years.

“Any claim that RMU-2 will have a negative economic impact is unfounded,” argued Kuhn. “The construction and operation of RMU-2 will generate more than $1 billion in net economic and fiscal benefits for local communities, Niagara County, New York State and the businesses of -New York State.”

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“Pollution is a well-known factor in Niagara County,” said Kyle Teeter, a law student at the University of Buffalo.

The UB Environmental Clinic represents the Lewiston-Porter School District, Citizens for Responsible Government in Youngstown and the Niagara Farm Bureau.

The legacy of Love Canal and several other toxic sites, as well as having the Lew Port campus two miles from the CWM landfill, argue against more waste disposal in Niagara County, Teeter said.

Waste Management Niagara Falls Ny

Houston-based Waste Management, CWM’s parent company, controls five of the 18 commercial waste disposal sites in the United States, he said, and the Environmental Protection Agency estimated at 2018 that the remaining 18 sites are sufficient for the country’s needs for the next 25 years.

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“The Model City expansion is unnecessary. It’s not in the public interest. People don’t want it,” Teeter said. “CWM has had more than 25 years to find a better place than our school yard to continue this test of long-term impact on our communities.”

“Reopening the CWM, which has been closed for seven years, to bury waste 10 miles from the Love Canal and imported from 40 states will discourage other types of economic development that are more beneficial to -the cities of Lewiston and Porter,” said Amy H. Witriol, a Lewiston resident who is a party to the hearing.

“Spills from pipes and tanks containing landfill leachate and leaks of untreated landfill leachate are common occurrences in Model City,” Abraham said. “These incidents will continue at the same rate, based on CWM’s theory that RMU-2 will work in a similar way to RMU-1. The groundwater was contaminated down to the bedrock. The groundwater eventually discharges into the Niagara River.”

If the DEC rejects the new landfill, Abraham predicted that CWM will face long-term maintenance and cleanup challenges like the nearby federal nuclear waste site.

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“RMU-2 will be built in the most contaminated part of the Model City site,” said Abraham, “requiring excavation of radiologically and chemically contaminated soil.”

Witryol presented four witnesses Monday to argue that the new landfill will discourage development in Lewiston and Porter while hurting the housing market, tax revenue and property values. -property.

Witnesses included Timothy Masters, City of Lewiston Building Inspector; Patrick J. Whalen, director of the Niagara Global Tourism Institute; Ronald J. Rubino, co-owner of GAR Associates, a real estate appraisal firm in Amherst; and Nicholas O. Rockler, economic development consultant in Massachusetts.

Waste Management Niagara Falls Ny

During nearly three hours of cross-examination, Kuhn disputed their findings and said there was no evidence that any specific development project had not occurred because of the proposed new landfill.

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Porter’s population has slowly declined since the 1980s, Abraham said, and undeveloped land east of the CWM site has remained vacant. Kuhn tried to show that there are reasons for this that do not apply to CWM.

CWM’s land, which its corporate predecessor bought 50 years ago, was once part of the Lake Ontario Ordnance Works, where the federal government produced explosives during World War II.

After the war, it became a repository for nuclear waste from the atomic bomb project and post-war work with radioactive materials from businesses in the Niagara Falls area.

This nuclear waste remains in the Niagara Falls repository, adjacent to the CWM property. The waste is buried in a 10-acre pit, which the federal government has agreed to spend $590 million to clean up by 2029.

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The Niagara Falls Repository in Lewiston, a site for radioactive waste left over from the Manhattan Project, is pictured in 2014. (Derek Gee/News file photo) By BN

“CWM suggested that Lewiston was already so disadvantaged and economically constrained by the Niagara Falls repository and modern facilities that there would be no greater stigma attached to the construction of a huge landfill that would require all trucks carrying PCBs and toxic waste they drive past our. doors. public schools,” Witrol said.

Since the closest licensed hazardous waste disposal site is in Michigan, Kuhn said the cost of transporting the waste there, including the greenhouse gas emissions of the long-distance trucks , should factor into the board’s site decision.

Waste Management Niagara Falls Ny

He estimates that the new landfill in Niagara County will save CWM customers $300 million to $550 million in transportation costs over the life of the proposed landfill.

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Over the expected 29-year life of the new CWM landfill, which employs about 80 people at full capacity, Kuhn said, it will receive $680 million in employee wages and expenses.

Kuhn said local governments and schools will collect $86 million in gross receipts taxes, property taxes and host community fees, while CWM will pay $63 million in sales tax. and hazardous waste operating fees.

In 2001, the Porter City Council accepted CWM’s offer of $3 million plus $3 per ton of waste if the new

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