The Time is Now!

Let YOUR Voice be heard!

Write and Oppose the Farmersville Dump!

The public comment period ends on Jan.2. – see the public notice

We need your voice!

A proposal by Integrated Waste Systems, Inc. ("IWS"), to construct what would be one of the largest landfills in the United States has been kept alive for more than ten years in the Town of Farmersville. In November, 2003, a public comment period opened on the IWS application for all required permits. The comment period closes January 2, and about two years of further review, including public hearings are expected to follow. However, this process will be short-circuited if the DEC thinks there is little public interest in the permit review process. That's why you need to submit a public comment letter.


1. Read some part of the IWS application, at various locations; refer to those pages that you believe contain inaccuracies, misleading statements or fail to include information you believe to be true; compose a comment explaining why your experience or background leads you believe the application is faulty in some particulars, then mail it to the DEC.

2. Come to one of our Teach-Ins on the Farmersville dump proposal to guide you through the process, and give you pointers on comments to submit. You'll learn a lot about local and regional waste issues!

3. Invite us to present a Teach-In at your church, school or community group.

4. Donate your time or money to CCCC. It will go a long way toward keeping us involved and effective in the review process. Without a vigorous citizen voice, only the DEC's minimal environmental and health protections are likely to be considered. With a strong voice, we can convince the DEC another 16 million tons of disposal space in western New York isn't needed.

Talking Points for your own letter (but make every effort to tie these to the actual IWS application):

Health & Environment:

    Water Pollution - The proposed Farmersville site is located on a steep slope. Active springs cover the space for the proposed landfill. Run-off from the site flows into Ischua Creek which recharges a major drinking water source for well users. The water supply of the City of Olean is mostly provided by surface water from the same source.

  Toxic Leachate – Although most landfill advocates say that “no hazardous wastes will enter this landfill,” a 1988 study published in the journal Hazardous Wastes and Hazardous Materials reports that:

“…There is ample evidence that the municipal waste landfill leachates contain toxic chemicals in sufficient concentration to be potentially as harmful as leachate from industrial waste landfills.”

Municipal landfill leachate contains 32 chemicals that cause cancer, 13 that cause birth defects and 22 that cause genetic damage. Even the EPA has said all landfills will eventually leak!

  Air Pollution- Landfills emit gases including methane and non-methane organic compounds (NMOCs). According to the EPA, NMOCs contain nearly 30 hazardous air pollutants. Although there is a Landfill Gas Rule meant to contain this pollution, this is not always adequately enforced. A Resident living next to the Franklin County Landfill said:

“They told me methane gas is not going to harm you, but I’m sick to my stomach and having headaches. It has woken me up in the middle of the night. I’m so sick to my stomach I can’t get back to sleep. I just sit in my stinking house.”

Quality of Life:

  Destruction of our way of life – Our beautiful quiet country life-style will be affected. Even urban areas will get inundated with garbage trucks, whose drivers have to eat, sleep and relieve themselves somewhere. Do want one or more stinking, leaking garbage trucks parked outside your diner or restaurant?

  The landfill will reduce property values – Who wants to live in an area where one of the largest dumps on the east coast will be located?

  Tourism will be affected – The Finger Lakes Hiking Trail, located near the proposed dump, may not be usable because of air quality problems. Travel on area roads will be discouraged for those with other options. Tourism is our county's largest single industry! Check the county's tourism website for more information.

  Traffic hazards – The roads in our area are not capable of handling 300 truck trips in and out each day. Also, county road bridges are in poor condition and will be affected. The Franklinville elementary and high schools are on Route 16, a major route garbage trucks must use to get in and out of a Farmersville dump. According to the pedestrian rights organization Right of Way, garbage trucks are the least safe on the road of any type of vehicle.

  Noise Pollution - Garbage truck traffic will increase with truckloads of garbage arriving about every five minutes. This will create a dangerous mix with local motorist, school buses and pedestrians. The noise will affect life night and day.

Other points to make:

  There are enough dumps in New York State already. Each year, over a million tons of permitted landfill space in New York goes unused.  The DEC is required to determine whether there is a need for this landfill. New Yorkers don't need another major regional landfill. Cattaraugus County uses the Ellery Landfill in Chautauqua County, which has another 50 years of permitted life. We don't need another major regional landfill.

  IWS (Integrated Waste Systems) which owns the Farmersville site, filed for bankruptcy in December, 2002 and hasn’t paid its property taxes to Cattaraugus County or the town for three years.  Who will actually operate a dump in Farmersville? The town might not see a dime for a long time!

Under the town's contract with IWS, the company doesn't have to make any payments to the town until its "fully operational." That might not happen! Even if it might, who's to say when a dump become "fully" operational?

The people of Farmersville will have to host this dump and the risk of water pollution, slope failure and toxic air emissions for more than a century, but current law provides for only 30 years of care after it closes, and even then only for monitoring, not cleanup costs.

Send your letter to:

Ken Taft, NYSDEC Region 9 Allegany Sub-Office

182 E. Union, Suite E

Allegany, NY 14706

can be dropped off at the Olean office of Assemblyperson Kathy Young, at 700 Westgate Plaza, West State St. (373-7103;

Make a copy of your letter and send it to CCCC, and to the editor of your local paper.


See also our Technical Guide, "How to Prepare and Submit Public Comments"

CCCC Home Page

More Farmersville Links

Compare what's happening at the Chaffee Landfill up the road

CCCC Teach-In on Submitting Public Comments

The IWS application is available at the locations below. In addition, Kathy Young's office has for public review one volume of the application, the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), perhaps the most important for most of the public. The SEIS describes the assumptions IWS made about the community and the ecology around the site.  Remember to send your comments to the Allegany DEC office.

Farmersville Town Hall
8963 Lake Avenue

Franklinville Town Hall
11 Park Square

Olean Public Library
134 No. 2nd Street

NYSDEC Allegany Office
182 E. Union St.

NYSDEC Buffalo Office
270 Michigan Ave.