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Finger Lakes wine maker speaks against plan to ship NYC waste upstate


An Upstate wine maker is speaking out against a plan to transport New York City waste to Seneca Meadows Landfill. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's $3.3 billion, 20 year plan involves shipping waste by rail or barge to the landfill in Waterloo.

Will Ouweleen is the winemaker of O-Neh-Da Vineyard and Eagle Crest Vineyards. He is also the co-founder of the Finger Lakes Wine Business Coalition. He attended a public hearing in Manhattan to speak out against the contract.

"The Finger Lakes of late has been recognized around the world as a best source destination for wine and local food, and at the same time it seems we're under great assault from external organizations who want to turn this into the gas and garbage storage dump of the north east."

Ouweleen says the region is not responsible for dealing with New York City's waste.

"We ship our wine all over the world from the Finger Lakes but we deal with our garbage ourselves, and that's really an issue for New York City to consider."

Ouweleen says if their concerns are not heard, the Finger Lakes Wine Business Coalition will launch a public campaign against Mayor de Blasio and the proposal.

Veronica Volk is a Reporter/Producer for WXXI News. She comes from WFUV Public Radio, where she began her broadcasting career as a reporter covering the Bronx, and the greater New York City area. She later became the Senior Producer of WFUV’s weekly public affairs show, Cityscape. Originally from Ocean County, New Jersey, Veronica got her B.A. in Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University, concentrating on Media, Culture, and Society.