News > News > Energy > Environmental and community groups detail opposition to proposed Catskill incinerator ash dump

Environmental and community groups detail opposition to proposed Catskill incinerator ash dump

More than 50 environmental and community groups detail opposition to proposed incinerator ash dump in Catskill


Proposal would transport 445,000 tons of toxic ash on local roads.


Groups call on Catskill Town Supervisor to reject proposal, release sign-on letter opposing the dump.


Wheelabrator Technologies, the second largest trash incineration company in the U.S., has proposed creating a large incinerator ash dump in a former quarry in the Town of Catskill near the shore of the Hudson River. The company is in the process of applying for permits from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

This project would involve trucking approximately 445,000 tons of toxic ash on local roads — including U.S. Route 9W — through Catskill and surrounding communities, with trucks coming from the south and the north. The quarry site is made up of highly permeable hydrology, which is known to have extensive drainage systems and springs, adding to the likelihood of toxic ash reaching the Hudson River and groundwater. Incinerator ash like that from Wheelabrator incinerators includes high levels of heavy metals and dioxins. The ash poses a significant risk to the surrounding region’s human and natural communities as well as to the entire Hudson River ecosystem.

The ash would come from Wheelabrator’s operating incinerators in Peekskill, Poughkeepsie and Hudson Falls, New York, which are the largest air polluters in Westchester, Dutchess, and Washington Counties, respectively.

At an April 15 news conference in Albany, the coalition opposed to the proposed incinerator ash dump released a letter to Town of Catskill Town Supervisor Doreen Davis — signed by 53 groups and close to 200 individuals — calling on the town to stop the project now, before it has to go through administrative processes.

“Putting massive amounts of incinerator ash in an old quarry so close to the Hudson River makes no sense. This is one of the worst pollution projects I have seen in a long time in the Hudson Valley. It is imperative that the residents of Catskill and nearby communities become actively involved in opposing this ill-advised project,” said Judith Enck, former Regional Administrator with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“For countless reasons, this is a bad project and there are many better alternatives for the site,” said Riverkeeper President Paul Gallay. “We’re calling on the community to get active and engage their leaders so that, together, we can agree on a better plan for the old quarry than to fill it with toxic ash.”

“Our broad coalition of environmental and community groups calls on Catskill Town Supervisor Davis to reject the ash dump and for the DEC to deny the necessary permits given the threats to the Hudson River, air and water quality, and the public health,” said geologist and local community member Paul Rubin.

The coalition also announced a community meeting to address the proposal’s threats. It will take place on April 23 at 7 p.m. at the Catskill Community Center, 344 Main Street.


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