By Michael DePietro
Amid public backlash from residents and neighboring communities, as well as some newly raised issues, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is preparing to rescind its environmental OK for a planned asphalt plant in the Town of Niagara.
On April 23, the DEC issued a notice of intent to rescind the state’s negative declaration for the air state facility permit application submitted by 4660 Witmer Rd. LLC.
In a statement this week, DEC Region 9 Public Information Officer Todd J. Pignataro said: “After an extensive review of comments received during DEC’s public comment period and other information provided to DEC, two new issues were raised about the application: 1. A census block group meeting the threshold for an environmental justice area is within the affected area, and 2. The Town of Niagara’s April 7, 2021, rescission of its negative declaration for the 4660 Witmer Rd LLC proposal.
“The applicant did not submit a written response to DEC’s notice of intent to rescind the negative declaration by a May 3 deadline. Yesterday, DEC issued a letter informing 4660 Witmer Rd. LLC that the negative declaration had been rescinded, rendering their application incomplete. The status of the air permit application is on hold pending additional SEQRA review by the town/county and DEC. The path forward depends on the outcome of that review. If the project moves forward, there would be a new comment period on the application itself and any proposed draft permit.”
The project is currently scheduled to go before the Niagara County Planning Board on Monday, May 17.