Tonawanda News

The Town

October 2, 2013

STATE SUES AMIGONE

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Amigone repeatedly violated air quality limits, crematory ash was found on a nearby residential property and noise caused a nuisance for nearby property owners, the suit alleges.

Robert Knoer, who did not return phone calls for a comment Tuesday, is representing Amigone. The parties are set to appear before Judge Diane Devlin on Oct. 31 for motions.

Residents gathered on a street nearby the crematory Tuesday to celebrate.

“For it to be permanently shut down would be great for our neighborhood ... we’ve lived here since 1967, and the crematory has changed our way of life,” Bill Pilkington, of Werkley Drive, said.

His wife, Geraldine, said she often had to clean off their home’s windowsills and furniture, which became covered with ash.

“Imagine inviting people over and not knowing whether he was going to fire it up or not,” she said, citing the smell that came from the crematory. “We haven’t been this excited in a very long time.”

Although complaints began when Amigone opened the crematory in 1991, residents said that conditions worsened when the incinerator was replaced in 2009. The Department of Environmental Conservation notified the crematory of emission limit violations in May 2012.

“The DEC referred this matter to the Attorney General for enforcement when it became clear that despite Amigone’s efforts, the crematory was causing a continuing violation of DEC laws and regulations,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. 

After Amigone signed the six-month agreement with the attorney general, the owners began attempting to move to another location. But the New York State Cemetery Board then denied the company’s request to move the crematory, and the State Supreme Court upheld the decision. Amigone is appealing, and the case is set to be heard in February.

Rebecca Newberry, of the Clean Air Coalition, which worked to organize the residents in the area, thanked Schneiderman for his efforts. 

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