Niagara Gazette — Members of Residents for Responsible Government joined local elected officials Friday in encouraging Niagara County residents to attend next week’s meeting of a facility siting board formed to determine the fate of a proposed expansion at Chemical Waste Management’s hazardous waste landfill in Porter.
During a press conference at Falkner Park, RRG members and state and county representatives spoke in a gazebo flanked by playing children and the Niagara River, where sailboats sat anchored and bobbing on the water.
“You can see by this view why we live in this community,” said April Fideli, the president of RRG, who began the conference, “get off your couch, change your plans...come fight for your beautiful community.”
Fideli leads the grassroots group that has been fighting against a landfill expansion effort proposed by CWM, the company whose current 4 million cubic yard hazardous waste landfill is nearing capacity. Niagara Falls, Lewiston, Porter, and Youngstown are now confronted by the possible zoning of a second landfill of equal size. The company’s request for a second landfill will be reviewed in the coming months by the state-sanctioned siting board.
Residents will have an opportunity next week to address members of the siting board directly. Board members will field public comments on the proposed expansion during hearings scheduled for 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Lewiston-Porter High School.
State Senator George Maziarz, R-Newfane, urged residents to attend the siting board sessions, noting that they represent the only occasion the public will have to directly address siting board members.
“This may be our last opportunity,” Maziarz said.
Bill Conrad, the newest member of the Lewiston Town Board, talked of the existing chemical waste facilities and the advent of a new one. Lewiston Town Supervisor Dennis Brochey, Sr. and town Councilman Alfonso Bax also joined Conrad in speaking out against CWM.