Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 8, 2013

Amigone's future in Tonawanda remains unclear

Niagara Gazette — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — After years of resident complaints concerning emissions from Amigone's crematory and a six-month suspension of the operations, it's still not clear what the long-term future will hold for the company. But short term, the controversy over the crematory will be heard in court. 

Amigone signed a legally binding agreement with the attorney general's office in July, agreeing to halt operations amid backlash from area residents and the Clean Air Coalition. But in July, the contract expired. 

Although representatives of Amigone owners, Sheridan Park Inc., have refused to comment, residents that live near Amigone and the Clean Air Coalition believe Amigone hasn't resumed operations of its crematory since the expiration of the legally binding agreement. 

In July when the contract was signed, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said he reserved the right to file charges against Amigone if the company began using the crematory, which was launched in 1991 adjacent to Amigone's funeral home. 

“I could open it up tomorrow but the the attorney general could bring a suit and we’d go to court,” Vincent Amigone, who was unreachable Friday, said in November. “We don’t want to go through that route.” 

The agreement in July came after a study from the University of Buffalo indicated widespread pollution in the surrounding residential neighborhood, including human ash.

Residents of the area have been complaining of noxious smells and smoke for almost 20 years, and some living on Werkeley Avenue, the street right behind the crematory, said they have been suffering from severe illnesses as a result of the emissions. 

At the time of the agreement, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said the Amigone would need to research ways to reduce its emissions, or find a way to move the operation. 

During the six-month halt period, Amigone filed a request with the state cemetery board to move the crematory to a different location on Cooper Avenue.

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