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DEC to investigate if toxins from Wheatfield Superfund site are spreading

Posted at 11:33 PM, Mar 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-24 23:33:53-04

The NYSDEC is set to study a Superfund site in Wheatfield that's stirring up health concerns.

This comes as more than one hundred people have filed claims to the town, looking for nearly $6 billion in damages. They say they're feeling the effects of chemicals from a landfill that once contained waste from Love Canal.

Even with the DEC set to investigate, neighbors are still frustrated.

“I just hope they change their focus to the people, instead of the place. That's all we really care about because without the people, the place is just a piece of dirt. We're not dirt,” said Todd Carson who lives off Nash Road.

The DEC sent out a fact sheet to some neighbors, earlier this week.

The two phase investigation will begin this spring, with the goal of determining if any contaminants may be moving or spreading into the neighborhood.

A part of the fact sheet most neighbors liked, but they want faster action.

“We need help. And we need the government to step in and help the people this neighborhood,” said Brett Grawe, who lives near the old landfill.

The DEC says it will test directly around the perimeter of the landfill, it says nothing about testing in nearby homes. Something that has already been done by a firm paid for by the neighbors’ lawyers. They found dioxin, and a host of other toxins.

“Talk to people and do the samples up here and do the full nine yards, and do it a lot quicker than what their remediation plan is,” added Grawe.

In the meantime, these neighbors feel trapped in their homes.

“I'd like to move and I can't afford to and that's my main focus right now, is to get my family and pets to safety,” added Carson.

“Nobody has money to leave their house and just go elsewhere because it's dangerous. We need help and we need it now. Not tomorrow, not next week, not in a year from now, we need help now,” said Shirley Coles who leaves near the old landfill.  

The DEC says since this is a Superfund site, they will seek legal action against the owners of the dump, which is the Town of Wheatfield, and the companies that disposed their hazardous waste there.

We could not reach the Town of Wheatfield for a comment. In a past story, they refrained from commenting on the claims, under advice from their attorneys.