Porters Toxic Problem

The Town of Porter may seem like a clean town, but to its residents it is not. Porter is the home to CWM Chemical Services, the only licensed hazardous waste landfill in the Northeast. CWM is located on 600 acres, and houses hazardous waste such as radioactive material and anthrax. CWM takes in 300, 000 tons of waste each year. It makes Love Canal look like nothing, the amount of contamination there, said Tom Freck, a Porter Farmer who lives near the CWM site (Hughes 1). A recent proposal, plans to include more waste to the landfill, and increase its size by seventy five acres.

General Electric wont say, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wont say. CWM Chemical Services wont say, either. But the residents in the Town of Porter in Niagara County have absolutely no doubt that when one of the worlds largest dredging projects ever undertaken is completed. And tons of PCB contaminated sediments are removed from the Hudson River (The mother of all hazardous waste, as it is deemed) the destination will be their lake front community (Hughes 1). They

are correct. A recent proposal plans to bring these sediments to CWM. If the proposal is passed 2.65 million cubic yards of Hudson River PCBs, an estimated 150, 000 pounds, will be dumped in the landfill.

If CWM receives the contract to bring in these sediments, they will also be proposing to increase the size of the landfill by seventy five acres. In order to accommodate these and other materials. CWM wants to create this new landfill To meet demands over the next fifteen years, said general manager Dominic Maruca (Michelmore 1). In order to help sway the decision CWM Chemical Services is offering three million dollars in compensation to Porter if the proposal is passed. But residents feel this money is not enough. This is petty cash to this waste giant .... It is short term prosperity in exchange for long term decline, said Timothy Henderson, President of Residents Organized for Lewiston-Porters Environment (Kowalik Residents 1).

At a recent town meeting the residents of Porter were given a chance to speak out about their opinions on the two proposals. By almost 2-to-1, speakers told the Porter Town Board they opposed allowing the facility to store more hazardous

waste there. (Kowalik Residents1). Residents made a point to portray the issue as more than just a Porter problem. If CWM is awarded the contract to take in the 2.65 million cubic yards of Hudson River PCBs, we have the potential for 176, 500 truck loads of hazardous waste going through our neighborhoods on the way to the Porter dump, William Rowland stated. Nearly everyone in Western New York who uses the Thruway will encounter some of those trucks carrying toxic materials during the five years of continuous hauling (Hughes 2). Lewiston Supervisor Sandra J. Maslen also expressed her feeling on the issue. The Lewiston-Porter community has been a dumping ground for the federal, state, and local governments, who have not chosen to address their own problems.... It has to stop, she said ( Kowalik 250 Protest 1).

As a resident of the Town of Porter myself, I do not feel either of these proposals should be passed. There are other toxic waste sites in the U.S. that have adequate space for these toxins. Why should the residents of Porter have to give up more land and sacrifice their health even more? I feel a alternative solution would be to disperse of the PCB toxins in numerous locations. This way no one town will be burdened with the whole problem. In order to keep CWM happy they should be allowed to have a portion of the contract to take in the toxins, but they should only be allowed to take in what they have room for now. This way the residents of the town will be happy they are not losing land to more waste. I feel an equal median can be established, and will result in a contented community and business.