Officials want more time on landfill

May 13, 2007

By Dan Miner

The Tonawanda News

City of Tonawanda officials are asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to suspend the 90-day public comment period of the proposed plan for the Town of Tonawanda landfill.

And they're hoping the rest of the Common Council backs them up.

Council President Carleton Zeisz and Councilman Rick Davis plan to introduce a resolution at this Tuesday's meeting saying that without further action, the comment period may end before the state Department of Environmental Conservation concludes walkover tests to see if radiation exists within the first six inches of soil on properties which border the landfill.

"We want to ensure residents have enough time to comment relative to the Army Corps' plan, given the fact that we're not exactly sure what kind of timeline there is on these things," Zeisz said. "We want to do whatever we can to ensure the safety of our residents."

The resolution comes after last Tuesday's meeting with the DEC to discuss the tests, which will take place in the next several weeks.

"Just talking with Carl, we both felt like it was important to ask the Army Corps to halt the public comment period," Davis said. "Because if the DEC, God forbid, comes up with some radioactive materials from the Manhattan Project, then the Army Corps is going to have to amend their proposed plan in order to deal with what the DEC finds."

The results of the DEC tests and end of the public comment period could come as close to a week within each other, Davis said.

Zeisz and Davis also recently co-authored a letter asking the state Department of Health to conduct an extensive cancer rates study of the residents who live within a quarter of a mile of the landfill.

Contact reporter Dan Miner/ or at 693-1000, ext. 115.