City urged to renew battle against Farmersville landfill
By JOHN T. EBERTH , The Times Herald 10/15/2003
OLEAN — Alderman Glenn Van Dixon is urging the city to renew its fight against a proposed Farmersville landfill that would take in 3,000 tons of trash each day.

The landfill would be one of the largest in the state. It was proposed by Integrated Waste Systems 12 years ago. The state Department of Environmental Conservation is preparing hearings for final public review of the landfill’s environmental impact study.

Mr. Van Dixon, R-Ward 1, said the region already knows the impact of the landfill. If its safety features fail and the landfill leaks, it could contaminate the water Olean residents drink, he said.

“I want to see it stopped as quickly as possible,” Mr. Van Dixon said of the landfill. “We need to renew interest in the landfill this far downstream.”

In March of 1992 Golder Associates, an environmental consulting firm hired by Olean, determined the landfill could contaminate Olean’s water supply if it leaks.

Golder found that both ground water and surface water intermingle in the Ischua Valley, the location of Farmersville and other Southern Tier towns along Route 16.

If the landfill leaks and contaminates water in the valley, it could find its way to Olean’s water supply. Water from the valley flows into Olean Creek.

Olean opened a new $15-million water filtration plant along Olean Creek last October.

Mr. Van Dixon said his concern about the landfill comes from his first-hand experience. He retired from the city of Olean Department of Public Works where he was a heavy-equipment operator. He said he saw the damage a landfill can do as he hauled trash to area dump sites for the city.

“Ischua, the airport landfill, the Farwell landfill, all you have to do is visit any of them to see the devastation,” he said.

Mr. Van Dixon said many residents have forgotten about the Farmersville landfill and he’d like to change that.

“It has been pushed to the wayside but eight or 10 years ago this was a big issue,” Mr. Van Dixon said. “I think the city should be on board as they were 10 years ago. I’d like to see them get reinvolved.”

The landfill planned by Integrated Waste Systems is designed to take 10 million tons of garbage during a 10-to 15-year span. Integrated Waste applied to build the landfill off Route 98 in Farmersville in 1991.
Cattaraugus County has been fighting the landfill since it was proposed.

Ken Taft, deputy Department of Environmental Conservation regional permit administrator, notified the county in a Sept. 15 letter that Integrated Waste’s landfill application is “technically complete.”

That means a final public review of the landfill’s environmental impact statement will begin soon.

©The Times Herald, Olean, N.Y. 2003
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