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On patrol: Colonie Landfill on the Mohawk River


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Today we passed Colonie Landfill during a patrol of the Mohawk River, and noticed more activity than we’ve seen in the past.

Over the objections of Riverkeeper and the communities of Waterford and Halfmoon, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation granted approvals allowing the waste facility – located right on the shore of the Mohawk, above the City of Cohoes drinking water intake – to expand. Waterford and Halfmoon are challenging the approvals. As CommunityNews reported last month:

The Halfmoon filing claims a portion of the expansion will be built within a 100-year flood plain, creates the risk of further contamination of the adjacent Mohawk River, creates an avoidable “detrimental impact from odor and visual intrusion” to nearby residents, and will put a portion of the expansion over a hazardous landfill “which continues to contaminate the groundwater with Hydrocarbons and heavy metals.”

Riverkeeper will continue to work with the communities to reverse the DEC decision. As we’ve stated, locating an enormous landfill on the banks of a river upstream of a drinking water source was a terrible regulatory failure in the first place. It’s time to make up for that mistake, instead of making things worse.

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