NIAGARA FALLS, NY -- 2 On Your Side is digging deeper on the illegal dumping site that the City of Niagara Falls had been operating for years.
Since the operation was discovered several months ago, the city has been in the process of cleaning it up.
2 On Your Side's Jeff Preval has obtained new information on the investigation. The illegal dumping ground can be found at New Road and Porter Road in the Falls. All of the land should be vacant land, but instead, city DPW crews had been dumping waste there.
To get a better scope of the problem, 2 On Your Side filed a Freedom of Information request for all inspection reports from the Department of Environmental Conservation -- the state agency that's been investigating this site. The DEC just released its inspection report, since the DEC has completed its investigation.
The inspection report says that the city created four dumping zones, in this mile-long stretch of land. And in the areas is everything from street sweeper dirt, garbage, tree trunks and tree limbs. The largest pile was measured at a whopping 18.5 feet tall.
In the report a DEC investigation says while they were on the site, they saw a DPW truck unload waste there. Another debris pile was located near a waterway that's connected to Hyde Park Lake.
The city has known about these issues for months. And the city's administrator, Nick Melson says there still remains a large pile of sweeper dirt that crews are in the process of removing.
The deadline to fully clean up the site is in the summer of 2017.
"We have expedited our remediation efforts in an attempt to beat that timeline," Melson said.
"We've closed access to the public, we've closed access to employees, unless they're accessing the site for direct purpose of the cleanup," Melson said.
Still, the city was fined by the state $2,500 for operating the site. Meantime, all of the junk is being transferred to a disposal company in Lewiston.