Barbarits named to head Marilla committee to address sludge issue - The Buffalo News

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Barbarits named to head Marilla committee to address sludge issue

Joe Barbarits has been named chairman of the newly formed seven-member Marilla Citizen Committee to deal with the Quasar sludge issue.

The group eventually plans to make a trip to the proposed tank site on a farm owned by Stanley Travis on Eastwood Road.

Travis’ proposal came to light in late summer with a legal notice regarding a possible agreement with Quasar Group to store effluent on his property in a million-gallon cement tank. At that time, residents bombarded the Town Board with questions and raised fears that the effluent or sludge could affect wetlands, fields, woods or streams.

Meetings were held and hundreds attended, loudly objecting to the storage of the sludge.

Subsequently, the board enacted a moratorium against storing sludge until the matter could be researched, which this committee is supposed to accomplish.

The state Department of Conservation has the power to issue such permits, but it has not notified the town of any decision.

The supervisor has the right to form the Citizens Committee without a vote from the Town Board, but Marilla Councilman Warren Handley said he was not happy with the make-up of the new committee because it is composed of only those who are opposed to the sludge. He would prefer a committee that has mixed opinions.

However, during the meetings at which citizens could voice their opinions, not one spoke in favor of the sludge storage.

The committee has received copies of information on the oversight of hazardous wastes, such as the DEC and Erie County Department of Health Environmental Protection Agency standards regarding hazardous wastes and the New York State Department of Transportation role in the transportation of these wastes.

Goals, direction and information for the committee were outlined by Town Supervisor Earl Gingerich Jr. to include a tour with Quasar Energy personnel of their digester facility in West Seneca, scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday.

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