Controversial crematory gets permit to resume operations

Posted at 7:35 PM, Aug 25, 2017

After five years of being shut down, the Sheridan Park crematory operated at the Amigone Funeral Home on Sheridan drive could soon be back in operation.  

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) issued a State Facility Permit that requires Amigone to make significant upgrades to the crematory with add-on pollution controls, controls for mercury and acid gases, and a bag/dust collector to control particulate emissions. The controls are beyond that required by law and the NYSDEC hopes it will address issues raised by the community about pollution and odors.

In 2012, the New York State Attorney General's Office shut down the crematory because it was a nuisance to the community with excessive noise, soot and offensive odors.

A NYS Supreme Court Justice ruled in 2016 that the crematory could reopen if a permit was obtained from the NYSDEC. 

The following is a statement from NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office concerning the issue:

“For over five years, the office has worked to ensure that the air emissions of the Amigone facility would not be a nuisance in this community.  We have secured requirements significantly limiting pollution from Amigone that are far more stringent than what is required under the law, and we will continue to monitor the facility’s performance closely.” –Doug Cohen, spokesman for Attorney General Schneiderman.  

The DEC estimates that it will take approximately six months for the upgrades and add-on controls to be installed.  While further inspections are not required prior to startup, the DEC tells 7 Eyewitness News that it plans to inspect during construction, prior to startup, and following the startup of operations.

However, people who live near the funeral home are furious and plan to organize efforts to keep the crematory from reopening.  Their efforts include calling on the Town of Tonawanda to revoke permits for the crematory, circulating petitions, and using social media to spread their message.

A 7 p.m. community meeting on the issue is being planned for September 12, 2017 at St. Bartholomew's located at 2368 Eggert Road, Tonawanda, N.Y.

Amigone was contacted for comments regarding this issue but there was no response.

7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly has more in his reports.