Bill would bar
Hudson sediment dumping in Niagara County
N.Y. (AP) It is unclear where PCB-laden sediments dredged
from the Hudson River will end up, but legislators from
one western New York county say they know where they don't
bill has been introduced in the state Legislature prohibiting
the storage or disposal of contaminated Hudson silt in
say their bill is aimed at prohibiting the Chemical Waste
Management disposal facility in the Town of Porter, about
15 miles north of Niagara Falls, from becoming the repository
for Hudson wastes.
a matter of environmental justice,'' said the Senate sponsor
of the bill, Niagara County Republican George Maziarz.
''Niagara County has been the recipient of hazardous waste
throughout the state for too long. We don't want it.''
bill also has a majority-party sponsor in the state Assembly,
Niagara County Democrat Francine DelMonte. She noted that
Chemical Waste Management (CWM), as the only certified
hazardous chemical waste disposal site in the state, is
the logical place for the sediments to be housed.
take all the hazardous waste garbage,'' she said. ''Just
think about whether they have to rail or truck that sediment
completely across the state and of the potential there
for, God forbid, accidents or accidental spills.''
was recently granted a variance to use more of its property
in Porter for disposal. DelMonte said the enormity of
the Hudson River project would put it in another class
from the wastes usually handed at the facility.
it was to come to pass in the way we are surmising it
would, you are talking 10 years, practically seven days
a week and I think 10 hours a day,'' she said.
the federal Environmental Protection Agency's blueprint
for the cleanup, 2.65 million cubic yards of contaminated
sediment will be dredged from the Hudson River north of
Albany. That volume of sediments is enough to fill about
40 football fields 30 feet deep and federal officials
say the silt will contain about 150,000 pounds of PCBs.
federal agency has yet to say how or where sediments from
the Hudson will be disposed of, spokesman David Kluesner
said Wednesday. But the plan specifies that the wastes
taken from the Hudson cannot be stored or disposed of
within the Hudson Valley.
George Pataki, who supports the dredging project, insisted
that the contaminated silt should not be left in the Hudson
CWM spokesman said it is ''purely speculative'' where
the Hudson wastes will end up. Scott Matter said his company
opposes the Maziarz-DelMonte bill.
principle, Waste Management opposes any legislative effort
to limit permits on an event-by-event basis,'' Matter
wastes are typically ''treated'' by CWM to neutralize
the toxic materials and then buried at the Niagara County
site, Matter said. No chemical wastes are incinerated
at the facility.
said there are licensed waste disposal facilities in Texas
and Wisconsin which could handle the Hudson sediments.
Better yet, the sediments should be kept in the Hudson
Valley, he said, though he acknowledged that cannot happen
under the EPA's plan.
noted that in the case of the nation's most infamous instance
of chemical contamination at the Love Canal neighborhood
in Niagara Falls tainted sediments were buried and capped
in an onsite landfill.
good for Love Canal is good for the Hudson Valley,'' he
of Porter Supervisor Merton Wiepert said that in addition
to the Love Canal and CWM, his area is also home to a
large solid waste facility and to radioactive wastes from
the Manhattan Project, which produced the first atomic
is enough,'' Wiepert said.
than 1 million pounds of PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls,
were discharged into the Hudson until 1977 when they were
banned by the federal government. They have been linked
to cancer in laboratory animals and neurological problems