LEWISTON, N.Y. -- The CWM hazardous and industrial waste management facility on Balmer Road has been opposed by many residents in the towns of Lewiston and Porter for decades.
"It's a poor location for hazardous waste because it's so close to public schools, so incredibly close to the groundwater table," said Lewiston resident Amy Witryol.
Public health and safety concerns have been the driving force behind the push to stop CWM from expanding. CWM recently announced it can no longer accept hazardous waste at the landfill. Members of the environmental group "Residents for Responsible Government" say it's a major win for the community.
"For the first time in 45 years, our school buses, our families, and our people that live in this community are not sharing their roads with hazardous waste trucks full of hazardous waste leaking into the community," said April Fideli, Residents for Responsible Government president.
Though CWM is no longer accepting hazardous waste, the landfill is not officially closed just yet. According to a statement from CWM Chemical Services:
"Yes, it's true that we have run out of air space, but that does not mean that operations at CWM have ceased. As a Treatment Storage Disposal Facility, the drum building and aqueous treatment facility are still able to accomodate customers. We do not anticipate a time when operations will end here."
CWM is also awaiting a decision regarding an application for another landfill. Many residents are against it.
"The damage has been done and to increase that damage by 75 percent or even by a spoonful of hazardous waste is not appropriate and not safe," said Witryol.
If approved, the new landfill would be within the exisiting facility boundary. CWM still needs permit approval before it can move forward.