State Sen. George Maziarz (R,C,I-Newfane) and Assemblyman John Ceretto (R,C,I-Lewiston) are working to protect the health of Wheatfield residents and the surrounding communities by asking the DEC to revoke permits that allow the Quasar Energy Group to dump an industrial byproduct called equate on land in Western New York. Residents have raised serious concerns about the practice and their voices need to be taken into consideration. Ceretto has joined with State Sen. George Maziarz in writing a letter to the DEC asking for this ban. A copy of the letter is attached.
“Many local farms use anaerobic digesters to produce energy from animal waste and then reuse the byproduct as fertilizer. This proposal, however, seeks to also include human waste and that raises unique concerns that must be addressed,” said Maziarz. “The Department of Environmental Conservation must step in to put the brakes on Quasar’s equate spreading and storage tank plans. Residents have legitimate concerns about their health and safety and they need to be protected.”
“I stand with my constituents who are worried about the health of their community. Industrial waste in our backyards is a major public health issue, and residents are justified in their concerns,” said Ceretto. “I do not want to see this industrial waste dumped in our community, and I’ll be working with my constituents and Sen. Maziarz to protect our community’s health and make sure equate does not make its way onto our land.”
Quasar uses a process to turn sewage sludge into energy. This process creates a byproduct called equate that Quasar wants to either store in tanks by the Niagara River or spread on farmland in Wheatfield and the surrounding areas. By Quasar’s own admission, equate contains dangerous pathogens that could end up in the water supply. Considering Niagara County’s history with the Love Canal, this is an unacceptable risk that that should not be taken.
In addition, Quasar has a bad reputation for ignoring state and federal environmental regulations. In a well-documented case in Ohio, Quasar was cited for violating numerous regulations, such as allowing their storage tanks to be filled beyond capacity and not properly containing the potentially hazardous equate. More information about this case can be found at http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2013/02/23/quasar-cited-for-violations-at-other-sites/.