Tonawanda News

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November 2, 2012

Witryol says Maziarz-sponsored piece distorted her position on PCB dumping


Tonawanda News — Another piece: A comment Maziarz said former DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis supposedly said to him at the time, insinuating that Witryol was on board with the DEC’s plan for the PCBs. 

As for her motivation, Maziarz speculates — as does the flier — that it had to do with Witryol’s political aspirations and her “personal animosity” toward him.  

“She should have been fighting alongside me to prevent this from coming,” Maziarz said. 

Witryol — who has for years actively campaigned against the expansion of CWM’s hazardous waste landfill — characterized the direct mail piece as an example of the kind of “dirty politics” career politicians like Maziarz employ when they want to distort a challenger’s record because they are unable to defend their own. 

What the DEC did originally was seek bids for the on-site disposal of PCB-laden waste at a cleanup project in Queensbury, just north of Albany. At the time, the agency received just one bid for on-site disposal, which came in several million dollars over estimate. As a result, the DEC rebid, allowing for either on-site or off-site disposal. The second time around, the agency selected the cheaper alternative — off-site removal to CWM. 

Maziarz says he argued at the time that the agency should have tested the waters again for on-site options to prevent the off-site plan involving CWM from being considered. At the time, he said he initiated a local petition drive aimed at convincing officials from the agency to follow that course. 

Witryol says Maziarz did so only after he knew the DEC had signed off on contracts allowing the off-site removal to happen, knowing full well that there was no way the agency could reverse course and follow the demands of those signing up for Maziarz’s petition drive. 

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