Hazardous Waste

Brian Higgins Put the Brakes on Risky Transport of Nuclear Waste through Buffalo!

House Passes Bill With Higgins’ Amendment Requiring Risk Assessment of Proposed Nuclear Waste Transport Across Peace Bridge

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced approval of HR 2200, the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Intelligence and Information Sharing Act of 2015.  The bill includes an amendment, introduced by Higgins, which requires the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis to examine and share information about the risks associated with a plan to transport highly enriched liquid uranium across the Peace Bridge.

The Department of Energy has a plan to transport liquid nuclear waste from Ontario’s Chalk River Research reactor over the Peace Bridge, through Western New York and other states en route to the Department of Energy’s Savannah River site beginning next year.

Last July Congressman Higgins called on the U.S. Department of Energy to conduct an environmental review of the plan.  He argued, in contrast to spent nuclear fuel, the shipment of liquid nuclear waste is far more complicated, more radioactive, and therefore a breach or contamination would be significantly more dangerous.  Despite the fact that the route was approved nearly two decades ago, the DOE maintained a new Environmental Impact Statement was not necessary.

The bill approved by the House now compels a risk assessment before the plan proceeds.

“The route was approved nearly twenty years ago, and it reflects a pre-9/11 mindset with respect to the threat and consequences of terrorism,” said Congressman Higgins. “This legislation, as amended, would ensure that the Department of Energy has the information it needs to reconsider the wisdom of transporting dangerous nuclear material through high risk areas like Buffalo.”



Sierra Club Niagara Group is opposed to the expansion of CWM Chemical Services, LLC (CWM) landfill in the towns of Lewiston and Porter in Niagara County.  The commercial facility located on a 710 acre site, treats, stores and disposes of hazardous and industrial non-hazardous waste.  For nearly 40 years, the residents of Niagara County and the nearby Great Lakes have been unduly burdened with the only hazardous waste landfill capacity in the state.  Help Stop the Expansion!  No more hazardous waste brought into our community!

Attend the Hearings:  Wednesday, July 16 at 1:00 pm and at 6:30 pm in the auditorium of the Lewiston Port High School at 4061 Creek Road (Route 18) Youngstown, NY.

Send comments:  Comments can be sent at any time from now until September 5 to James T. McClymonds, Chief Administrative Law Judge, NYSDEC Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 625 Broadway, First Floor, Albany, NY 12233 1550.  Comments may also be emailed to CWMRMU2@gw.dec.state.ny.us.  Send a copy of your comments to the Niagara Gazette to the attention of any of the Managing Editor at The Niagara Gazette, 310 Niagara St., P.O. Box 549, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14302-0549, or fax it to (716) 286-3895.


I am opposed to the expansion of Chemical Waste Management for many reasons and here are some of them.

  1. Both DEC and EPA have said we don’t need any more hazardous waste disposal capacity.   However, states cannot ban them and are required to hear applications.
  2. Land burial has been legislated by state and federal regulations as the least desirable method of disposing of toxic wastes.  Most hazardous waste can be recycled or decontaminated on site.
  3. The location of CWM a mile from all public schools for two towns, and just a few miles from the Great Lakes and the Niagara River is a serious problem.  EPA has said that all land fills eventually leak, and this process has already begun at CWM.  The Great Lakes contains 20% of the surface fresh water on the planet.  CWM has already discharged PCB’s into this water supply. It makes no sense to add danger to this water.
  4. We are very concerned about the nearby communities as cancer rates of some types of cancers are higher in the area around CWM than elsewhere. And trucks carrying the toxics drive past our schools and often leak according to regulators.
  5. Economic development is restrained because of CWM operations. This is especially true of the focus on tourism by the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) that has been established by the Governor.
  6. CWM is not significant to brownfields or business in NY although it is often cited by supporters as important. Most waste already buried there has come from outside of New York.
  7. The Niagara County Legislature and all unrestricted municipalities in the area, including the Lewiston Porter School Board, are on record as opposing CWM expansion.

Because this is a state decision, it is extremely important that as many people as possible come to the July 16th hearing.  We need to show that the public is strongly opposed to this.

The hearings will be held at 1:00 pm and at 6:30 pm in the auditorium of the Lewiston Port High School at 4061 Creek Road (Route 18) Youngstown, NY.  The date is July 16.

Comments can be sent at any time from now until September 5 to James T. McClymonds, Chief Administrative Law Judge, NYSDEC Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 625 Broadway, First Floor, Albany, NY 12233 1550.  Comments may also be emailed to CWMRMU2@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

Western New York has had more than its fair share of being dumped on!  Please do everything you can to get people to come to the hearing.  And ask everyone to send comments opposing CWM expansion.  This is not just a County of Niagara issue.  It is an environmental issue that should be of concern to everyone.


CWM Chemical Services, LLC (CWM) is the subsidiary of the Houston, Texas giant Waste Management, Inc.  CWM  currently owns and operates a  hazardous waste disposal facility  on an approximately 710-acre site in the towns of Lewiston and Porter in Niagara County.

If you want more information:

Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment http://www.citizenscampaign.org/campaigns/hazardous-waste-landfill.asp

Department of Environmental Conservation http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8766.html


Chemical Waste Management (CWM) is the only commercial licensed land fill in the northeastern United States which continues to receive toxic wastes. It is located in the Town of Porter in Niagara County, ten miles from Lake Ontario and the Great Lakes – which contain 20% of the liquid surface fresh water of the planet. This is a particularly unsuitable place for such a dump. The Department of Environmental Conservation has determined that there is no need for another toxic waste landfill, and has declared landfilling to be the least desirable method for disposal of toxic wastes. Despite that, CWM is pressing ahead with a permit application to build another huge toxic landfill adjacent to the present one. This must be stopped.

The Niagara Group is working with Residents for Responsible Government (RRG) to minimize the potential consequences of current toxic wastes buried in the area, and to prevent the further importing of hazardous waste to the site. This area is in close proximity to the Great Lakes, the Niagara River, the infamous toxic waste site of Love Canal, and Lewiston-Porter schools.

View the Residents for Responsible Government website at http://www.rrgwny.com to learn more about the issue, view the CWM permit application, DEC’s response, and what steps you can take to get involved in preventing more toxic waste from entering the region.