Niagara Gazette

Local News

January 15, 2013

CWM'S DEC permit renewal effort draws criticism, praise

Niagara Gazette — PORTER — Residents, environmental advocates and business community leaders spoke out on a hazardous waste facility’s efforts to renew its permit with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation at a public hearing Monday night.

CWM Services, LLC, the company that operates the 710-acre hazardous waste storage and disposal facility in the towns of Lewiston and Porter, has applied to renew its permit to operate with the state agency. The new permit would be good for five years and would not expand the facility’s capacity, though the company has another application pending for an expansion.

David Denk, the regional permit administrator for the DEC, said the agency plans to renew the permit which he described as “technically and administratively complete” at the hearing in the auditorium of the Lewiston-Porter Senior High School — just a few miles away.

“The changes proposed have been evaluated by the department and have been found to be acceptable since the changes meet relevant and regulatory criteria and present no significant adverse impact to the environment, to the public health or worker safety in and around the facility,” Denk said.

The hearing was part of a DEC public comment process that has been extended because of public interest. Monday night’s comment will be submitted for the record and interested parties have until March 29, 2013 to submit their written comments to the agency.

Speakers commenting in opposition to the renewal — made up largely of concerned residents and environmental advocates — outnumbered those in favor by two to one.

Timothy Henderson, a Lewiston resident, said that DEC assurances do not make him feel as though he is safe from the hazardous waste the company takes in.

“In many cases permits are nothing more than licenses to pollute, settling on standards and lowering bars until there is virtually no airspace left” he said.

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