State senator demands answers on toxic materials

Apr 22, 2013

A state senator from Buffalo is demanding answers on hazardous materials found in Western New York.  Senator Mark Grisanti says the Buffalo News article, titled "Toxic legacy’s time bomb," has put the area's history of toxic waste back on the front burner.

Grisanti is chairman of the state legislature's Environmental Conservation Committee.  He says something has to be done about the estimated 800 waste sites across the region and there is state and federal money available. 

State Senator Mark Grisanti
Credit WBFO News file photo /

The Buffalo News article says these sites in Erie, Niagara and Cattaragus counties are a threat to the Great Lakes.

Grisanti says he will be meeting with state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens this week in Albany.

State DEC commissioner Joe Martens at a recent appearance in Buffalo
Credit WBFO News file photo

"I was a little bit shocked today at the number of sites that pose a serious risk. I put a call in to Commissioner Martens. I did not speak to him directly today, but I have spoken to him before with regard to some of this area. I left a voicemail message telling him I will definitely meet with him this week in Albany to move forward, to see what can be done," said Grisainti. 

Grisanti says he also has to tell state legislators about the history of hazardous waste in New York. 

Grisanti says cleaning up waste sites can also open those areas to development, like the former Central Park Plaza in North Buffalo and the new Buffalo Sabres' complex on Downtown Buffalo's Webster Block.

"I will continue to keep the public informed, the public health of our community is paramount," said Senator Grisanti.