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GCEDC board chair releases open letter to community in response to Orleans County lawsuit

By Howard B. Owens

See also: Orleans County files suit over WNY STAMP sewer line

Press release:

A number of concerns have been raised about the impacts of the construction of an underground pipeline that would discharge treated water from businesses at STAMP into Oak Orchard Creek.

These are concerns that we have taken very seriously and addressed.  Multiple engineering studies and peer engineering and environmental regulatory reviews have been conducted to assess potential impacts of discharging this treated water into the Creek.  This process is similar to how municipalities treat water before it is discharged into local waterways.

While existing businesses at STAMP, including Plug Power and Edwards, would discharge approximately 50,000 gallons per day of treated water into Oak Orchard Creek, the studies and peer reviews assessed the impacts of the potential for a maximum of 6 million gallons per day as if STAMP was at full build-out.

The various studies and peer reviews conducted by engineering professionals took that maximum level into account and determined that the increased flow from the STAMP discharge will not have a noticeable impact on the 100-year flood elevations downstream, nor will it impact stream velocity, water levels, water quality impairments and/or area-wide erosion.

Concerns also have been raised about potentially impacting the capacity at water treatment facilities in neighboring communities, which could negatively impact bringing new businesses and/or assist business expansion because of a lack of capacity.

Again, citing these same studies and peer reviews for the potential for a maximum of 6 million gallons per day if STAMP was at full build-out, it was determined that:

  • The increase in surface water elevations in Oak Orchard Creek during a 10-year storm event would be approximately 1/8” to 1/4”, with STAMP discharging at the maximum expected level of 6 MGD. 
  • Given the above, the Medina water treatment plant, which currently operates with a maximum permitted level of treating 4.5 MGD, could expand by another 10 MGD in order to accommodate new capacity for business growth and/or expansion without impact from STAMP’s maximum expected 6 MGD discharge.  
  • An adjoining dam to Oak Orchard Creek could absorb the 6 MGD into its storage capacity without modification to the dam’s operations.  

We want to support our partners in economic development to assist any we can to enhance investment in the GLOW region.  We would not advocate for something that would be detrimental to our partners, as we all are working collaboratively to bring prosperity to our region.

Finally, we want to thank the approximately 38 landowners who agreed to temporary and permanent easements on their properties to allow the underground pipeline to be constructed.  We appreciate their understanding of the temporary and permanent need to use their properties for this critically important regional economic development initiative.

Please visit to review the various engineering studies and peer-reviewed documents related to this project.


Peter Zeliff
Genesee County Economic Development Center

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