Stop Hot Asphalt Production in Niagara

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The same Erie County company, AL Asphalt, that unsuccessfully sought to open a hot asphalt production plant in the Town of Hamburg due to significant public outcry have applied to build their plant in Niagara County. According to the application, they will construct a 31-foot-high by 4 feet-wide smokestack and burn liquid propane to heat and dry gravel before mixing it with hot asphalt oil.

The property is located in Northwest Corner of the Town of Niagara at 4660 Witmer Road, just west of Interstate 190 and directly next to the Niagara University campus and student housing complexes. The closest residents and schools are in the Deveaux, Highland Ave, and Belden Center neighborhoods of Niagara Falls and Town of Lewiston along Hyde Park Blvd and Reservoir Park. Due to the close proximity of these neighborhoods, schools, and parks, residents are justifiably concerned.

  • Niagara University Campus entrance and Apartment Complex  = few hundred yards away
  • Reservoir State Park = .5 miles away, 1 minute drive.
  • Maple Avenue School = .7 miles, or a 2 minute drive.
  • Henry J Kalfas Elementary School = 1.5 miles, or a 4 minute drive.

The unilateral action of the Town of Niagara to approve the site was based solely on being a good fit in a heavy industrialized zoning area, and without health considerations and input from residents in the neighboring municipalities that will live and work closest. Asphalt plants emit harmful chemicals and odors into the air that can have a massive impact on the health, quality of life, and property values of homes nearby.

According to their application, AL Asphalt plans to operate seasonally from April to November, will create few full-time jobs, and contribute very marginally to the tax base of the Town. Residents that will be adversely impacted the most are students and faculty at Niagara University, nearby residents and school age children in Lewiston and Niagara Falls. The location proposed is zoned for the heavy industrial, but that alone should not guarantee a clear path for a project that will have many detrimental impacts on the future health of our children and environment. The residents and communities directly impacted deserve full consideration by the New York State DEC when considering the Air Permit application.