Even stinkier than the skunk invasion written about just weeks ago on these pages, a smelly landfill rivals only the city’s own Buffalo Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant in terms of the putrid, nauseating stench that now blankets much of the city, particularly during the summer tourist season.
Complaints about the landfill’s obscene aroma have poured into City Hall for the past few years. But Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster and his City Council majority of Kristen Grandinetti, Andrew Touma and Charles Walker put it on the pay no mind list.
So residents went to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which launched an investigation, the results of which were announced last week.
The Allied Waste Niagara Falls Landfill, near the corner of I-190 and Niagara Falls Boulevard here, has been fined $75,000 after the investigation confirmed the landfill as the primary source of repeated sulfur and garbage-type odor complaints, the DEC confirmed. Under the terms of the consent order, the facility must undertake specific actions to reduce or eliminate odors at the landfill.
“DEC continues to vigorously enforce New York’s strict environmental rules and regulations to protect public health and the environment,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “This order includes a lengthy list of requirements to address the numerous odor complaints from the public that DEC has tracked related to this facility.”
In addition to the penalty imposed, DEC’s consent order requires Allied Landfill to:
· Install and operate a gas collection and control system in the working face of the landfill and any future active landfill areas at the site;
· Operate flares to burn landfill gas at several locations on the landfill;
· Initiate a pilot project for treatment of landfill leachate to mitigate sulfur odors in wastewater prior to discharge to the sanitary sewer system;
· Revise the Odor Management Plan for the facility;
· Evaluate options for restricting the type of odor-causing waste material the landfill accepts for disposal;
· Perform a study of the gas emitted from the landfill to identify all potential air contaminant emissions to determine what additional controls should be installed at the landfill.
As is usual when he gets caught with his pants down, Mayor Dyster – and Councilmembers Touma, Grandinetti and Walker – didn’t utter a peep.
Dr. Dyster, who had the backing of many area environmentalists early on in his campaigns, proclaimed himself to be the city’s first “Green Mayor.”
Instead, his actions and inaction have shown him to be just another “filthy lucre mayor,” in a tradition that is as old as the city itself.
In addition, the Dyster administration has never looked into accusations that Allied Waste has transported fracking waste over city streets in direct violation of a strict city ban.
Allied Waste is a national company with a long list of environmental and other successful prosecutions against it.
The company once paid out a massive $44,237,336 fine for environmental violations and lesser amounts for crimes and misdemeanors including (but not limited to) employment discrimination, civil contempt, labor relations violations, workplace safety or health violations, wage and hour violations and violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act.
They’ve got a record longer than both your arms and these are the people your mayor and his council minions choose to do business with. Allied Waste Industries Inc. have been the target of federal and state investigations from New York to California.
Here, Paul Dyster’s Sgt. Schultz defense – “I know nothing!” – just doesn’t wash.
Don’t take our word for it. Google it yourself.