Niagara Gazette

Local News

January 25, 2013

Residents seek end to waste hauling

Niagara Gazette — It was two years ago Friday when Timothy Henderson heard a loud rap on the door of his Lewiston home.

Calling for Henderson were a Niagara County Sheriff and a chaplain. 

They were there to tell him that his son, Ryan, had been killed in a head-on collision with a waste hauling truck.

For Henderson, the memory of that cold, January morning is as sharp and vivid as if it were earlier this week.

"I just felt like somebody reached in my chest and pulled my heart out," Henderson said.

Henderson and other members of Residents for Responsible Government, a not-for-profit group dedicated to informing Niagara County residents about the threat of hazardous materials being buried in local landfills, gathered in the auditorium at the Lewiston-Porter Intermediate Education Center Friday morning to announce the beginning of a new campaign. The group is looking to raise community awareness about not only the dangers of hazardous waste, but the potential hazards created by the trucks that haul such waste into the community. 

The campaign, formally called "Instruments of Change in Our Community," seeks to prevent another expansion of the CWM Chemical Services, LLC landfill in the Town of Porter, a facility RRG members like Henderson say contribute to a high volume of hazardous waste haulers on local roads. 

"These are our roads, not CWM's," Henderson said Friday. "They force us to share them with massive semi trucks."

Henderson's 35-year-old son was killed in an accident involving a truck coming from the CWM facility. 

The company never offered a gesture of sympathy, Timothy Henderson said.

When contacted for comment, CWM spokesperson Lori Caso said in a statement that Ryan Henderson's death was "loss for this entire community." 

CWM has been seeking a permit to expand from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for 10 years. Projections from the community group suggest the hazardous waste landfill will be at capacity within two years.

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