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Board rescinds vote affecting waste firm

The Town Board members Monday rescinded its vote of two weeks ago that potentially could have led to the expansion of Chemical Waste Management, the only hazardous waste dump in the Northeast.

The board had agreed to complete a study that could allow the Lewiston-Porter Water Pollution Control Center to receive a permit to treat specialized waste, including waste from hospitals and leachate from Chemical Waste Management.

The board received a letter from County Legislators Lee Simonson and Clyde Burmaster and Legislature Chairman William Ross that warned any study that could lead to accepting CWM waste was "ill-advised."

"CWM discharges millions of gallons of waste water into the Niagara River each year from its own pretreatment plant. The company proposes to send this waste water to Lewiston's plant, requiring Lewiston to expand its capabilities. The result would, in effect, assist CWM in adding a new hazardous waste landfill," the letter said.

Councilman Michael Johnson called for rescinding the earlier action. Councilman Daniel Kilmer agreed but said he was "appalled at the county getting involved."

"I'm against it. It's blood money," said Councilman John Ceretto of the $100,000 the plant could receive annually to treat the leachate from CWM.

Supervisor Fred Newlin said the treated water going through the Lewiston sewage plant and into the river could expose the town to future liability if anything is ever found in the water.

However, Councilman D. James Langlois, the only board member to vote to go ahead with the study, called the vote to rescind caving in to "political pressure."

"Why are you so afraid to complete a study? It's very necessary to have this permit in place to accept streams from hospitals and dental offices," Langlois said.

Newlin countered, "No one has approached us about a pretreatment program, except CWM."

In another matter, the board tabled a plan to sell 11 acres of town parkland on Creek Road to developer Michael Dowd and Old Creek Links for use as a golf course. The $147,000 sale to Dowd was tabled because he was not present to answer questions.

e-mail: nfischer@buffnews.com

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