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LEWISTON – The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced Tuesday that it is doubling the length of the public comment period on CWM Chemical Services’ proposed expansion of its Porter landfill.

The DEC also announced that public hearings on the request have been scheduled for 1 and 6:30 p.m. July 16 at Lewiston-Porter High School, 4061 Creek Road.

The DEC opened the legally mandated 60-day comment period May 7, but at the urging of state legislators representing Niagara County, it decided to keep the written comment window open for 120 days, until Sept. 5.

The hearings will be conducted by the DEC and the siting board appointed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to consider whether CWM, which is running out of space in its current landfill, will be allowed to dig a new one, covering 43.5 acres with the capacity to hold 4 million cubic yards of hazardous waste.

The siting board will include five state agency representatives, along with former Niagara County Legislature Chairman Lee Simonson, Niagara USA Chamber Chairman John Benoit and A. Scott Weber of Getzville, senior vice provost for academic affairs at the University at Buffalo.