SCHUMER: ARMY CORPS SHOULD EXTEND DEADLINE ON PENDING WETLANDS PERMIT FOR PROPOSED EXPANSION OF CWM’S CHEIMICAL WASTE LANDFILL, ALLOWING RESIDENTS AND LOCAL OFFICIALS MORE TIME TO FULLY EXAMINE LOCAL IMPACT; NIAGARA COUNTY DESERVES AT LEAST 90 DAYS TO REVIEW THE COMPLICATED PROPOSAL
Buffalo Army Corps of Engineers Is Currently Deciding Whether To Allow WNY Company, Chemical Waste Management, To Dump Hazardous Waste On New Portion of CMW Landfill on a Federal Wetlands Near A Local School, Homes, and Businesses
Schumer Says Residents, Businesses, and Local Government Officials Need Additional Research and Information on Expansion of the CWM Dumping Area– In A Letter To Buffalo ACOE, Schumer Requests 90-Day Extension Of Public Comment Period To Allow Greater Community Input
Schumer: Niagara County and the Surrounding Towns Need More Time To Compile The Facts And Have Their Voices Heard on Critical Proposal
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged the Buffalo District Office of the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) to extend the public comment period on a proposal in Niagara County that would allow Western New York company, Chemical Waste Management, to store hazardous waste on federal wetlands within their current property. Schumer said the residents, business owners, and local governments have requested the additional 90 days to review information and additional research. Schumer said given the potential environmental impacts of the proposal, and the complex nature of the entire project, the public should be given more time to submit a comprehensive comment on the environmental and community concerns stemming from CWM’s application. This will better inform the ACOE as they prepare to make their decision, as well as New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), which must approve other permits related to the project. Schumer said stakeholders were gathering all relevant information and simply needed an additional 90 days before submitting their testimony and relevant facts to the ACOE. While the ACOE’s decision is only one factor in the permitting process for the landfill, Schumer said its ruling will likely influence NYSDEC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final decision. As a result, residents and businesses want the opportunity to weigh in during these 90 days before critical sign-offs are given.
“When it comes to evaluating the impacts of this decision on Niagara County’s environment and regional economy, there is no need to make a hasty decision. The people of this community deserve to have their voices heard and compile the relevant facts and testimony as the ACOE prepares to make a key decision on this proposal,” said Schumer. “Granting a 90-day extension of the public comment period will do just that. This extended comment period would give the area’s residents, business community, and the local governments time to fully voice their concerns about this project and give the ACOE all the relevant facts they need to make an informed decision on this case.”
Schumer said Chemical Waste Management has applied for a number of permits, including a Clean Water Act 404 Permit, which would allow the company to store waste in federal wetlands, which are under ACOE's purview. While the company has agreed to ease new federal wetlands on another part of their property, local residents in Niagara County are concerned about the environmental impacts of the increased waste storage near their homes and businesses, and a local school. Schumer said the community has appealed to the ACOE to not approve CWM’s permit to use federal wetlands until after residents and stakeholders have held hearings on the project's environmental impacts.
Schumer said residents should be given ample time to fully analyze a decision that would have a significant impact on their community. By granting Niagara County residents an additional 90 days, the community will have the proper time to gather their findings and testimony and submit it to the ACOE. As such, Schumer said federal, state, and local environmental officials would be best served in making their decision with a comprehensive analysis of the environmental impacts of their decision, which would be available if the ACOE granted a 90 day extension.
A copy of Schumer’s letter to Kathleen Buckley at the Buffalo District of Army Corps Engineers is available below:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District
Attn.. Kathleen Buckler
1776 Niagara St.
Buffalo, NY 14207
Dear Ms. Buckler,
I write to request the Buffalo District of the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) extend the comment period on the pending Section 404 Clean Water Act, Application No: 2000-01534 CWM Chemical Services, LLC by 90 days to allow for submission of additional information and community input.
On such important environmental and community issues, it is vital that the public have an ample opportunity to be heard. A combined NYSDEC proceeding has also been scheduled and will include the Applicant and stakeholders such as Niagara County, the Town of Lewiston, the Village of Lewiston, the Village of Youngstown, the Lewiston-Porter Central School District, the Niagara County Farm Bureau, and a member of the Canadian Parliament. Many of these stakeholders are still gathering information and research in order to comment on the proposed application and need more time to adequately prepare and present their testimony.
The public deserves the opportunity to offer the Corps additional information from the clarification of relevant issues which may arise from the combined proceeding and we anticipate the Corps would find such information useful in its own decision-making process on this large, environmentally sensitive and complicated project.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
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