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Survey numbers find local opposition to CWM

Sat, Mar 7th 2015 07:00 am

The Sentinel has released the results of its online CWM survey, which was announced Feb. 7 and ran throughout the month. The paper sought public input at www.wnypapers.com about whether CWM Chemical Services in Porter should be approved by DEC to pursue a hazardous waste landfill expansion and be granted a long-term operating permit.

This topic has been and continues to be a contentious one in the area, with supporters on both sides of the issue. Gauging from the results of this (admittedly) unscientific survey, opposition to CWM is particularly high in the immediate northern Niagara County region.

By the numbers

In the River Region, which comprises the towns of Lewiston and Porter and surrounding areas, 103 participants registered a qualifying vote. A total of 31 percent voted in favor of the CWM expansion and long-term operating permit, while 64 percent of respondents voted in opposition.

Interestingly, outside of the region, the numbers were found to be in favor of CWM. A total of 44 responded, with 82 percent voting in favor.

A vote was counted if the participant included his or her full name and filled in other fields establishing validity.

On the "no" side, comments included:

  • "We have endured enough. Find a different site or a better way to deal with this waste stream."
  • "I work in Erie county and am sick of hearing, "Oh, you live in Lewiston - isn't that where all those chemicals are buried?"
  • "No more dumping in Lewiston."
  • "These trucks have been going past my house for many years. So noisy. Always hope for no accidents."
  • "I am against granting the CWM landfill expansion and long-term operating permit because enough waste has been dumped there. The landfill draws down property values and cannot possibly be healthy. Environmentally the landfill is ruining the community."
  • "The state DEC declared several years ago that NYS no longer needs a hazardous waste facility. It is not in our long term best interests (economically or health-wise) to host the ONLY hazardous waste facility in the state. Haven't we been dumped on enough!!"

On the "yes" side, comments included:

  • "We should focus on the benefits of CWM and it's business. The facility, even if not allowed to expand, will still be here. We should ask CWM to expand its management and research staff here. Why can't we become known in the country for our excellence in hazardous waste management?"
  • "The facility has been there for years. The expansion is not going effect the area any differently by an expansion. If people want to see a negative effect on the area, have a look to your left as you are driving east on Ridge Rd out of Lewiston just before the town hall. Notice the "hill"? That is new to the landscape over the years thanks to Modern Disposal. Yet not one person would be up in arms over any expansion of "garbage hills" which have been created in the same living area."
  • "The land will never be whole."
  • "We cannot afford to loose any more jobs & tax revenue. The landfills are here and not going away, bottom like keep money coming into our community."
  • "The site is needed for clean up and remediation projects. It provides a safe disposal option for manufacturers and generators of hazardous waste."

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