By Amy H. Witryol
Closing the CWM Chemical landfill in Niagara County would result in a safer and more prosperous state and country.
There are 47 PCB disposal companies in the United States, most of which destroy PCB waste, forever. By contrast, CWM Chemical will not remove, but simply relocate danger to the environment by dumping toxics in a landfill. The Environmental Protection Agency acknowledges that all landfills will leak, as each landfill at CWM already has.
The largest volumes of hazardous wastes to CWM in recent years were scheduled for treatment and destruction by other companies, not land disposal. In other words, it is false to assume that waste going to CWM needs a hazardous waste landfill.
The EPA and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation concluded that New York doesn’t need more hazardous waste capacity. Therefore, CWM must demonstrate its operation is “otherwise in the public interest” to site a new toxic landfill.
CWM suggests Niagara County would collapse without it. While operating at 15 percent of permitted capacity, the sky has not fallen here. Just the usual fires, toxic discharges to waterways, overturned trucks and too many residents too sick, too soon in life.
• No disposal tax due to enormous donations to state politicians and committees.
• Low-cost power from the New York Power Authority though CWM does not create or retain jobs as a result.
• No sampling the majority of incoming waste, resulting in fires.
• No groundwater monitoring wells in areas of severe contamination.
• No contaminant analysis of air samples.
• No sampling off-site; all contamination miraculously ends at CWM’s chain link fence.
More than 1,000 people attended the recent DEC hearing at our high school. I waived to an acquaintance leaving the auditorium. He took a few more steps then stopped, turned, and said, “I don’t know most of the people here, but every time I come to one of these hearings, I love this community even more.”
I agree. We hope Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will agree as well.
Amy H. Witryol is a Lewiston resident who has advocated against expansion of the landfill for 10 years.