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Letter: Hill of contaminants poses hazard at Buffalo Harbor State Park

Along with a recent letter writer to The News, I too commend News reporter Thomas J. Prohaska for his investigative reporting of radioactive waste and other contaminants at the Niagara Falls state park.

I encourage Prohaska to investigate the hill of contaminants located on Lake Erie water’s edge at the new Buffalo Harbor State Park. This new state park was developed with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion.

During the summers of 2016 and 2017, I witnessed moving of brownfield soils and debris, including concrete and silica, excavated from the old parking lot at the site.

Contaminated soils and debris were pushed around by a giant earthmover. This happened without public warnings. This happened as young children played on the park playground down wind from the digging and moving. I did not see protective gear on workers who had been told the hill would be for snow sledding. Really!

The hill, currently fenced off, blocks views of the lake. What were state parks workers thinking? Of course they take their orders from Cuomo. I was told by an on-site New York State parks employee, “We couldn’t just dump brownfield materials anywhere.” I responded saying, “it could have been removed if they had gotten a proper disposal permit.”

Does Cuomo prefer a “quick and dirty” job instead of a “do it right” job? Can the governor be held accountable? I hope so. Please contact the governor’s office to urge appropriate removal of the nasty hill on the edge of Lake Erie at our new state park.

Lynda Stephens


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