Lynne Dixon rallies the region against DEC’s plan for Bethlehem Steel site

County legislator Lynne Dixon (I-Hamburg) is rallying the community against the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s plan to only partially clean up the former Bethlehem Steel plant in Lackawanna. The Cuomo administration plan calls for excavating contaminants, but the relocating them on another part of the vast waterfront site.

Dixon is demanding that the contaminants be fully removed and properly disposed. She is asking supporters to sign a petition that she launched today. The petition reads:

The current remediation plan is unacceptable. The DEC is planning to move approximately 8,600 cubic yards of contaminated soil and fill to a designated site that is just a few yards from Smokes Creek and only about 1,500 feet from the shores of Lake Erie. The selected site could also block future access to the waterfront. Efforts have been made to cleanup and remediate brownfields and contaminated sites throughout this region, however, simply moving the hazardous waste a small distance doesn’t solve the problem. The DEC needs to take appropriate action to remove the city’s landfills of the soil that contains chemicals or elements such as ammonia, arsenic, benzene, lead and other semi-volatile organic compounds.

In addition to the health hazards, shifting the contaminated soil only a few hundred yards away could inhibit possible development of this area, which has great potential based on its waterfront location. 

Please sign this petition and tell the NYSDEC that remediation of Lackawanna sites must be done properly in the best interest of the city.

Dixon’s broad based popularity and moderate style have made her one of the Erie County GOP’s most formidable political contenders. Given the moderate politics of her congressional district, some have speculated that she may be a contender for congress, and could unseat Brian Higgins.

Higgins, who opines regularly on waterfront issues, has not yet commented on the DEC’s plan.

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