from Dan Telvock -investigativepost.org
NIAGARA COUNTY, NY -- After people living in Niagara County raised concerns about construction at a waste plant,The Department of Environmental Conservation has ordered Covanta Niagara to halt construction on a smokestack.
The question is did they wait too long to do so.
Those residents were skeptical about the DEC's oversight of this $30 million dollar waste to energy plants expansion project.
Covanta's proposal involves a rail transfer station that would allow it to haul garbage taken in from New York City.
Covanta started construction on a smokestack without an air permit from the DEC.
A Covanta spokesperson says the DEC knew the construction broke ground early all along.
The notice of violation states that the DEC became aware of the construction in mid may.
It does not clarify why they waited until now to take action, leading residents to believe the DEC turned a blind eye.
"They did allow the company to break the rules until today," Dan Telvock said. "They refuse to answer any additional questions about the process and how it transpired and why they waited so long.
A Covanta spokesperson says the company is not trying to hide anything and is rather surprised they received a violation.
The notice states that Covanta faces a penalty of up to $18,000 dollars for each day construction continues.
Our partners at Investigative Post point out that this is at least the third time the DEC has come under scrutiny for not aggressively enforcing regulations.
Read more at investigativepost.org