July 24, 2008

CWM

Chemical Waste Management (CWM) has been in the news lately for two proposals that would impact their business operations. The first, which consists of sending almost 75,000 tons of toxic waste from a Superfund site north of Glens Falls to CWM, appears to be a no-brainer. After all, who wants 1,500 truckloads of PCBs running through their neighborhood?

But this facility in Porter is the only hazardous waste dump in the Northeast, so is it better to ship it through New York State to some other location even further away? The company has already taken in nearly 33,000 tons of waste from a project site in Schenectady County, and nearly 25,000 tons of contaminated soil from a site in Delaware County came to CWM last year. This simply looks like another case of not-in-my-backyard. The reality of the situation is that we do have a hazardous waste facility in Niagara County. They need to be able to do what they are in business to do.

Which leads us to the second recent issue for CWM. They have placed an application with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to expand the current facility. CWM officials have asked the state to allow them to build a new, 50-acre landfill on their 710-acre site.

Again, we must wonder why the opposition? They are a hazardous waste landfill. Does anyone like the fact that there corporations in the past have polluted earth? Of course not. But CWM is in business to take that material and either clean it or place it in a location which will keep it away from the general population. Who in Porter did not know this when they moved there?

As a side note, I'd love to know what the Erie County Leg is doing passing a resolution opposing the expansion of CWM, especially since Erie County has shipped 116,000 tons of hazardous waste from Erie County projects alone in recent years.

The other part of this equation is brownfields. The state is investing hundreds of millions into remediating brownfield sites. Many of these sites are contaminated. If corporations which are investing in these sites experience exponential costs of shipping the material because it now needs to go out of state, many of these projects will not get done. The economic impact would be very detrimental.

In the end, it comes down to CWM and their ability to conduct business in a responsible manner. There are massive amounts of regulations that they must follow. The day that they are no longer a responsible neighbor, some of this criticism may be appropriate. Until that day, they are simply another business in Niagara County and should be treated as such.

10 comments:

Mr. Pink said...

Hobbes, it's pretty clear that it's not in your backyard or you wouldn't be so cavalier in your attitude toward thousands of tons of toxic waste coming to Niagara County.

Senator Maziarz is right on in his opposition to this because he knows there is no need to put the community at risk when other viable alternatives are available to shipping the waste here.

To say that CWM is just another business operating in Niagara County is foolish. Cal Span isnt' burying nasty stuff in our soil, First Niagara isn't importing toxic waste and even a major manufacturer like Delphi has a good environmental record.

Fawn Leibowitz said...

Every toxic waste facility is in someone's backyard. No one wants it in their neighborhood. So where is it to go? They are heavily regulated and have proven to take every precaution. The First Niagara analogy is a bit of a stretch, don't you think? Delphi has a good environmental record as far as dumping. Good for them. Not every company is that diligent. For companies that have been less responsible, there's CWM to clean up the mess.

Frank DeGeorge said...

Fawn,

I assume you don't have kids in Lew-Port. The waste of Schenectady has to go somwhere...how about NOT in the backyard where other people's kids go to school.

What is it about the victim mentality in Niagara County that we feel we have to accept being everyone else's armpit.

Go George go, keep this crap out of here.

Joe Niagara said...

I was questioned earlier this week about why I called the hiring of a propoganda minister like trying to polish a turd. Now is there any doubt? We get treated like the states septic tank. Maybe we should hire a team of cheerleaders too!!

fat tony said...

Joe, I agree. If this is the type of business we need to sustain Niagara County, honey start the car cause I'm outta here.

Anonymous said...

larry stopped posting here, but then just posts on his own pathetic site about this site. tell him to stop wasting his time, then stop wasting ours with his page long comments, and then come back here to be a normal blogger.

as for this story, let em store the crap whereever they have a right to. it has to go somewhere, why not in good ole prosperous WNY

Anonymous said...

Larry, come on home. There's always room for you.

rob clark said...

Is taxing the amount of tons they bring in really going to stop them?

Richard J. Meyers said...

Hobbes,
This is much less a situation of NIMBY than it is a case of ignoring modern waste disposal technology in favor of the same old, eternally hazardous putting it under dirt. Why? Because it is the cheapest way in the short term, but unfortunately it may cost lives in the long term.

Let’s take a look at one of the alternatives. A fairly new and well recognized technology called Plasma Gasification has shown that it could not only permanently eliminate all of the hazardous materials that would be shipped to CWM’s site in Porter, but it could also completely eliminate all of the hazardous waste that currently exists on the site. This can be done with the added benefit of using the synthetic gas resulting from the process to run generators to produce low cost electricity for the grid. Hydrogen for Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can also easily be produced.

At the end of this process, there will be no hazardous material left, no matter which of the hazardous chemicals that currently are buried at the CWM site are processed through this procedure. It completely eradicates the hazard through molecular dissociation. Hazardous waste in, as a matter of fact any waste in at all, and clean energy out. Sounds like a pretty easy alternative to me.

I like having a company like CWM in my backyard, as long as they look to the future and upgrade to the extraordinary opportunities that are out there for handling our hazardous waste.

If anyone has any questions about Plasma Gasification, especially anyone from Chemical Waste Management, please feel free to call me at 795-3352.

Anonymous said...

This waste that is intruding our county is nothing but a stop sign for anyone interested in moving into our area. Wait, no one is moving into our area. Maybe there is a reason. The lack of jobs is one. I have another reason. We live in an area where pollution and environmental neglect are commonplace. The rate of cancer for people in Niagara county is high. Those who live in Porter and Lewiston have higher rates. Then we have people who work at Lewiston Porter Schools. The rate is unconsionable. The reason is the LOOW and CWM. We ship in highly toxic waste to our community every day. It is time to stop. We are at the breaking point. Shipping waste to our community is no longer acceptable. We need to find alternatives to burying waste in our back yards. Lets spend a little extra money and take care of the waste where it is. The fuel costs and health costs to Lewiston and Porter are far more than it would cost now to take care of the waste where it is. We also have one of the most precious resources on earth in our back yard. The great lakes provide fresh water for millions. It may be the catylist for this regions resurgance. This can only happen if our waters are uncontamenated. With the leaching that will eventually occur from CWM, we are jeopordizing our future. Please look at all the factors that affect your community in regards to this issue. The money that CWM provides the community is great. The health and welfare of the citizens are far greater. We need to stop CWM from transporting more toxic waste to our community. More importantly, we need to stop their expansion.