A DEC decision to grant CWM Chemical Services an extension has outraged critics of the Porter landfill operation who have long contended the company routinely fails to comply with state regulations but often does not face the appropriate punishments.

“Like the foam discharges to the Niagara River, all of these problems were identified by the public, not the DEC,” said RRG’s attorney Nils Olsen. “And this is only a partial list. It shows DEC monitoring is incomplete and ineffective.”

A spokesperson for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation says the agency will take no immediate action against CWM but does intend to hold the company to the terms of a March 4 letter in which it encouraged the landfill operator to comply with regulations for soil disturbance projects.

DEC spokesperson Jill Severino said her agency does consider recent soil investigations conducted in an area where CWM is planning an expansion of its Town of Porter landfill to be out of compliance in two areas — the state Health Department’s notification requirement prior to any soil disturbances and a DEC timeframe for delivering results following soil tests.

Failure to comply does not necessarily mean the company will face any type of sanction as Severino said the DEC will consider taking action only if the company ignores a follow-up letter in which the agency granted CWM additional time to comply.

“If this recurs, the department will take appropriate action,” Severino said in an e-mail response to questions from the Niagara Gazette.

CWM dug 284 holes on its property last fall to check for chemical and radiological contamination on the site of a proposed landfill expansion project. While the testing was encouraged by DEC regulators, the agency admits that the company failed to follow rules covering soil disturbances on CWM’s property that require state health officials to be notified prior to any work.

The DEC also says CWM did not submit data collected from the soil samples within an acceptable time frame.

Under state regulations, the company should have submitted its findings to the state within 60 days.

In its March 4 letter, the DEC extended the deadline for submitting the company’s findings to May 1.

“If CWM makes the submission as set forth in the letter, the department will consider the issue closed,” Severino said.

In its letter, the DEC says CWM officials expressed a need for additional time due to the volume of data requiring analysis. CWM spokesperson Lori Caso noted that the work performed by the company was requested by the DEC and outlined in a plan that was shared with the agency.

“We were under the impression that we were in compliance because they monitored the entire process,” Caso said. “Of course, we will have the data to them in the timeline as requested.”

Contact reporter Mark Scheer at 282-2311, ext. 2250.