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AERO DRIVE CONSTRUCTION GETS STATE APPROVAL HEALTH DEPT., CHEEKTOWAGA APPROVE PROJECT ON EDGE OF PFOHL DUMP

The state Health Department and the Town of Cheektowaga have given the go-ahead for the construction of an office and warehouse at 999 Aero Drive on the edge of the Pfohl dump.

Leone Construction Inc. of Amherst plans to build a 12,000-square-foot prefabricated building. Ronald S. Marten, chief building inspector, Tuesday notified Leone of the approval. The company received a building permit last April.

Marten said Michael F. Rivara, an environmental specialist with the state Health Department, determined the project will not "pose a health threat to workers or the adjacent residential community."

After the permit was issued in April, the state Department of Environmental Conservation reported contamination had spread beyond the hazardous-waste dump, which closed in 1969. Environmental and citizens' groups protested the Leone project, and the town ordered it held up until the state determined it was safe to proceed.

Some Pfohl Road residents have rejected Health Department findings that the neighborhood is safe, and pressed for blood tests and health screening.

Supervisor Frank E. Swiatek Tuesday said the town will continue to support efforts to obtain further testing of contamination in the area of the dump, as well as remedial measures.

Rivara based his finding on results of studies of soil and ground water from the Leone site, collected Nov. 13 by North American Environmental Services Corp. of Kenmore, which was hired by Leone.

The samples were taken at several points on the site, most on the surface, but some underground along the route of a sewer connection to the planned structure. The tests found no indication of buried waste or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Ground water concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, manganese, and mercury were in excess of drinking water standards, but the ground water is not meant to be drunk, the report noted.

"Exposure to ground water containing elevated metal concentrations would occur only if ground water was pumped from the site during excavation and construction," it added.

Leone Construction has no intention of pumping ground water from the site, but if it must be removed from the site for any reason, North American Environmental would handle transport and disposal, the report said.

The Health Department ordered the study in October after rejecting an earlier study by North American Environmental as containing several errors, which were blamed on time constraints.

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