No reason to expand CWM’s toxic landfill

In the Another Voice on April 30, Michael Mahar, manager of the CWM toxic waste landfill, presented good PR but inaccurate information in three key areas: safety, economics and whether New York needs a hazardous waste landfill.

CWM violated its permit conditions in 10 out of the last 10 years. This is not safe. Neither are toxic discharges, explosions and truck fatalities that have occurred. Our health is not for sale.

As for economics, hazardous waste will be managed without CWM in ways that are more economical and safer. The flawed “Bonadio” economic report used CWM-provided numbers and excluded any actual costs to government while including economic impacts that will continue after it closes.

CWM bids against local companies on local projects not requiring hazardous disposal, such as the Erie County Medical Center project, only to fill small shipping gaps while it awaits the more profitable hundreds of thousands of toxic tons from other states dumped here. Also, CWM actually takes jobs away from treatment companies that eliminate contaminants. Instead, CWM relocates toxics here.

The article did not mention New York State has determined CWM expansion is unnecessary. In addition to state and federal findings of overcapacity in hazardous waste landfills, there are ample alternatives to land disposal already in use. For example, Brownfield Program cleanups involve near zero percent land disposal of hazardous waste. CWM consistently misrepresents its relationship to brownfields, confusing the public.

If hazardous waste landfills were safe, needed and economical, everyone would want one. CWM fails all three tests.

April Fideli

President, Residents For

Responsible Government