Niagara Gazette

Local News

June 26, 2013

Covanta concerns aired; city officials looking into matter

Niagara Gazette — The city of Niagara Falls has an opportunity to get more from a waste-to-energy facility that operates in the city.

At least that's the view of a community advocate who has researched public policy and the waste industry in Niagara County for years.

Amy Hope Witryol sent a letter to the city of Niagara Falls Planning Board and the city's Environmental Coordinator Alan Nusbaum detailing the reasons she believes the board should revisit its negative declaration determination for the New York State Department of Conservation State Environmental Quality Review.

The review, known as SEQR, is a requirement for Covanta Energy Inc. as they work to reopen a rail spur that will allow the company to accept waste by train. All waste now enters the plant on trucks.

In the letter, Witryol argues the board should consider reopening the SEQR determination because the company provided "inaccurate and incomplete information" during the application process.

Witryol refers to a series of documents including a draft contract term sheet between the New York City Department of Sanitation and Covanta and DEC filings detailing the amounts and types of waste processed at the Niagara Falls plant while making the argument that the planning board did not have all the information it need when deciding on the SEQR determination last fall.

"Covanta asserted that NYC waste would be replacing only Canadian waste, and, that NYC waste would consume approximately 50 percent of Covanta Niagara capacity." Witryol said in the letter. "Both appear to be untrue."

The draft contract identifies two end destination plants run by Covanta for up to 1 million tons of waste each year to be split between the two locations. The terms of the deal run 20 years with two five-year extensions available, according to the draft contract.

A positive declaration would give the city more leverage in negotiating with the company for a better deal. In exchange for hosting garbage incinerators, the city should receive things like a host community agreement and guarantees on the amounts and types of waste processed in years to come, Witryol said in her letter.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results