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PANEL SEEKING MORE STUDY OF QUARRY PLAN IN CHEEKTOWAGA

Buffalo Crushed Stone may be ordered to study in more detail the effects of nearly doubling the size of its mining operations off Como Park Boulevard in Cheektowaga.

The Cheektowaga Environmental Advisory Committee, one of four town advisory bodies that reviews projects proposed for Cheektowaga, has recommended that the Town Board order Buffalo Crushed Stone to prepare a draft environmental impact statement, which requires an in-depth look at the effects of quarry expansion.

The committee, which acts as a clearinghouse for outside comments on projects, agreed this week that the controversial expansion proposal would have a significant impact on the surrounding quarry area.

"We believe potential impacts have to be looked at more closely," said Thomas Adamczak, a committee member and town building inspector.

Buffalo Crushed Stone last summer submitted plans to expand its 162-acre mining operation another 140 acres.

The company wants to rezone 76 acres east of the existing quarry for future mining, as well as 50 acres directly north of Como Park Boulevard and another 13 acres to the west of the quarry.

The Town Board has the final say as to whether the land is rezoned to "aggregate," which permits mining, from a mix of different zonings.

If the Town Board orders Buffalo Crushed Stone to prepare an impact statment -- which may happen at its Oct. 6 meeting -- officials would sit down with company representatives to determine what issues need to be addressed.

Traffic and geologic studies, as well as the effects of quarry expansion on Cayuga Creek and neighboring residents are findings likely to be included in such a report.

The proposed expansion has set off an uproar.

Residents have complained for years about the noise, dust and sulfur odor coming from the quarry, and an expansion would affect the community for years to come.

"It's a very significant project," Committee Chairman and Town Engineer William Pugh said of the quarry rezoning. "Certainly, the residents have made their presence known."

Residents living around the mine have packed Town Hall meetings over the past few weeks to oppose the quarry proposal. They also have started circulating petitions.

Letters also are being sent to Town Hall.

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