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DEC reclassifies Wheatfield landfill, raising public threat level

Wed, Dec 23rd 2015 12:30 pm

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released an inactive hazardous waste disposal site classification notice Monday regarding the landfill site on Nash Road in the Town of Wheatfield.

The site has been reclassified on the registry from Class 3 to Class 2. According to the DEC's website, a Class 2 site is described as a "significant threat to the public health or environment - action required," whereas a Class 3 site "Does not present a significant threat to the environment or public health action may be deferred."

The former municipal and industrial landfill took in and housed waste from several sites, including the Niagara Falls Air Force Base, Bell Aerospace, Carborundum, Frontier Chemical, Graphite Specialties, Continental Can, and Grief Brothers.

The DEC identified several contaminants at the site, including metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, pesticides, caustics, and plating tank sludge.

Another concern is that the landfill does not have a Part 360 cap or access restrictions.

"Both conditions indicate a concern for potential exposures to people who enter the site. This exposure concern has been documented as people are using the landfill as a jogging and play area. Dirt bike trails are evident throughout the site and use of such has resulted in landfill materials to become exposed at the surface. Therefore, the site represents a significant threat to the environment and public health," the notice stated.

"My hope is that folks stay out of these woods at least until we find out what is there and what may be a plan for remediation, if needed," Town of Wheatfield Supervisor Robert B. Cliffe said.

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