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LEWISTON – Local residents will have a chance to make oral or written comments today on CWM Chemical Services’ application to continue operations at its 710-acre hazardous waste-disposal site.

CWM also has made a separate application to expand the size of its operations at 1550 Balmer Road in the towns of Lewiston and Porter. That application is under review by the state Department of Environmental Conservation and is not included in today’s public hearings; it will be handled separately at a date yet to be determined.

Lori A. Caso, public affairs spokeswoman for CWM, said Sunday that today’s hearings are a routine procedure in which the DEC reviews waste-disposal operations at least once every five years, and it grants extensions of operating permits if there are no negative findings.

The DEC announced last week that a two-part “legislative public hearing to accept public comments on CWM’s permit renewal” will be held at 5 and 7 p.m. today in Lewiston-Porter Central School, 4061 Creek Road.

It is not necessary to attend today’s hearings to submit written comments, which will be accepted until March 29 at the department’s regional office at 270 Michigan Ave., Buffalo, NY 14203-2915.

A “public availability session” to answer questions before the hearings will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. today at Lew-Port.

CWM currently operates under a required hazardous waste permit. “If renewed, this permit will not authorize any expansion to CWM’s currently operating hazardous waste landfill or any new landfills,” DEC officials said.

The DEC originally intended to accept written comments on the current operating application only until Jan. 28, but “in response to a number of written requests,” the department announced last week that the comment period had been extended.

Caso said CWM “is the only commercial hazardous and industrial treatment, storage and disposal facility in the Northeast.” It disposes of material from hundreds of businesses, brownfield and environmental remediation sites in the state and provides them with “a safe and reliable disposal option,” Caso said.

CWM’s facility at Model City employs 66 people. “Over the last 10 years,” Caso said, “the Model City facility has taken waste from every county in New York State.”

email: rbaldwin@buffnews.com