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'Good news' for Wheatfield: No leaking contamination from landfill

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation reports soil samples taken show no contamination from the Niagara Sanitation Landfill in Wheatfield leaking to nearby properties. “The results are good news for the residents of the Wheatfield community,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Governor Cuomo has made getting to the bottom of this situation a priority to protect the public and provide residents with the peace of mind that comes with having the most accurate information available.”  

The DEC says surface soil samples were taken May 10 and May 11 at depths up to two inches on one commercial and 22 residential properties in close proximity to the Nash Road state Superfund site. They were analyzed for semi-volatile organic compounds, metals, PCBs and pesticide/herbicides.

A concentration of mercury that slightly exceeds the residential soil standard was found in one yard, but the DEC determined that sample to be an anomaly, not indicative of leakage.

In March, the state directed an environmental study be conducted to ensure toxins had been contained at the now-closed landfill. The site was recently reclassified after Love Canal waste was removed and elevated surface soil contaminants were found in several locations.

Background from the DEC cites the landfill operated 1955-1968. In 1968, the state Department of Transportation used it to dispose of contaminated soils generated during construction of the LaSalle Expressway. These soils were later determined to be contaminated by Love Canal waste.

The DEC says most of the contamination was in the center of the landfill, so results were expected and confirm initial sampling. Results were mailed to homeowners.

Additional groundwater and subsurface sampling will be conducted over the summer. Groundwater wells installed at the site monitor hazards.

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