Chemical Waste Management and a federal agency denied Tuesday that the CWM landfill is taking waste from the controversial General Electric Hudson River cleanup project, as a Lewiston resident told the Town Board on Monday night.
Michael Basile, an Environmental Protection Agency spokesman, told The Buffalo News that any waste that came to CWM last year was "waste material" -- such as sweepings, brooms and hazardous protection suits -- from this first testing phase of the Hudson River project, not river sediment from the cleanup, which legally must be sent to a hazardous waste site in Texas.
On Monday, Amy H. Witryol, a former member of the town's CWM Citizen Advisory Committee, had told Town Board members that she discovered manifests showing two truckloads containing polychlorinated biphenyls came from GE in Hudson Falls in December and were linked to the river cleanup. The waste totaled 27 tons.
Basile called Witryol's claim a "misunderstanding." He said 55-gallon drums that arrived at CWM were unlikely to contain PCBs, but would have held items that had to be properly disposed of in a hazardous waste site.
Lori Caso, CWM spokeswoman, said the Hudson River project was on hiatus last year and suggested the cleanup materials may have come from another GE project in Hudson Falls, rather than the Hudson River cleanup.
Witryol disputed these assertions, producing a report from the state Department of Environmental Conservation confirming the disposal of 199,000 tons of waste from the "GE Hudson River Project," including 27 tons shipped to CWM.
"There is no other project of this size in New York State," Witryol said.
"In this case a couple of trucks slipped through the cracks. You have to wonder what would have happened if no one was watching. The issue is they said we were not going to take any waste from this [Hudson River Cleanup Project], and we did," she said.