Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Communities

April 6, 2014

Lewiston cites 'home rule' in fight to stop lagoons

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — LEWISTON — Residents living in fear of biological waste lagoons invading their neighborhood have been warned to stay on the lookout.

The town’s code book, according to its five-member town board, contains restrictions on transporting waste materials anywhere within its borders. But a code book doesn’t actually stop it from happening — it only allows the town to levy fines for breaking the rules.

So it’s fallen on Supervisor Dennis Brochey to provide a public fight on behalf of the residents looking to keep companies like Quasar Energy Group, an Ohio-based firm with a location in Wheatfield, from creating and filling any lagoons or transporting the materials through town. 

“We have codes that prohibit this from being transferred,” Councilman Ronald Winkley said at the board’s March 24 meeting. “The supervisor’s been doing a very good job contacting Quasar and being very forceful delivering the position of the whole board of what we think about this stuff. Whether the (state Department Environmental Conservation) issued a permit or not had nothing to do with us. That was done totally separate from us. That doesn’t mean they’re going to be able to do this.”

Quasar began its process of acquiring permits from the DEC last summer to create the lagoons in Lewiston’s Sanborn area.

According to the DEC, the Wheatfield plant, called Niagara BioEnergy, “accepts manure, food waste, fats, oils, greases, sludges resulting from the treatment process at wastewater treatment plants (biosolids), energy crops, glycerin, stillage and other by-products from the production of ethanol and bio-diesel” to be converted into electricity.

A bio-gas, which is converted into the electricity, and a liquid, bio-waste byproduct are the end result of the process, with the liquid reportedly being available to farmers as a fertilizer for crops. It’s this item that Quasar is looking to store in lagoons between its creation and eventual sale.

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