CANEADEA — This week, Concerned Citizens of Allegany County (CCAC) announced a public gathering for an afternoon of activities to commemorate the successful end to an environmental battle that has kept the region free from becoming a state-sanctioned nuclear waste dump.

Events will begin at 2 p.m. April 18 at the Caneadea Access to the Genesee River on the east side of Route 19 (Genesee River Wilds).

In the backdrop of the scheduled meeting place is the Caneadea Camelback Bridge, where on April 5, 1990, “Grandparents of the Future” handcuffed themselves to a chain to block passage to the bridge in fierce protest of the New York State Nuclear Siting Commission and its mission to site a nuclear waste dump nearby.

“The Grandparents” act was followed by another non-violent civil disobedience on the same day. Protesters blockaded the road on the far side of the bridge so that New York state troopers were once again unable to guide the commissioners to properties they were considering in the siting process.

Gov. Mario Cuomo officially ordered the Siting Commission to refrain from its duties on April 6, 1990, which led to a permanent issuance of the end of the siting process.

The April 5, 1990 day of action and arrests followed a battle by citizens who fought to protect their land and their rights against New York state’s ill-fated plan. They fought in courtrooms, the Capitol and on the front lines.

CCAC said citizen activists from Allegany County and beyond worked together in newly formed grassroots groups, including CCAC, ACNVAG (Allegany County Non-Violent Action Group), Allegany County Watch, and Don’t Waste NY. They held events to raise awareness, funds and to effectively stop the projected dump.

A documentary called “My Name is Allegany County” about this successful environmental campaign can be accessed on YouTube.

CCAC continues to meet regularly, organize events and to educate with a focus on local environmental issues. In recent years, it has raised awareness of environmental concerns surrounding ‘’fracking” (hydrofracking) and related activities.

“In honor of Earth Day, and Allegany County, we will gather to share memories and to hear music from BANDITS (Bands Against Nuclear Dumping In This State), a coalition of musicians who wrote and performed songs throughout the dump fight,” CCAC members said. “We expect to stage photo opportunities at the park and at the bridge. Speakers will highlight current environmental issues that affect us locally as well as to commemorate past successes. Glen Zweygardt, professor of sculpture at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and activist from the dump fight, will unveil a model for a commemorative monument.”

The Caneadea Town Hall is reserved in case of inclement weather on April 18. More information will be released on CCAC’s Facebook page.