News > News > Preserve River Ecology > Rensselaer Environmental Coalition applauds DEC decision denying permits for Rensselaer trash facility

Rensselaer Environmental Coalition applauds DEC decision denying permits for Rensselaer trash facility

Re-posted from Rensselaer Environmental Coalition.

For immediate release: August 12, 2020

Contact: David Ellis, Chairman, Rensselaer Environmental Coalition
[email protected]

On November 26, 2019, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation sent a letter to outgoing Rensselaer Mayor, Rich Mooney stating that the DEC “has grave concerns regarding what appears from a review of the SEQRA record for this Project to be a wrongfully abbreviated environmental impact assessment that the City of Rensselaer undertook.”

In March 2018, Rensselaer Resource Recovery LLC, applied to the Rensselaer City Planning Commission for approval to construct and operate the BioHiTech municipal waste processing facility on a toxic brownfield site in close proximity to the Hudson River. BioHiTech proposed to truck in 150,000 tons of municipal solid waste each year, separate, dry, and shred the paper and plastic, and have a different fleet of trucks transport this material to an unnamed cement plant in Pennsylvania to be incinerated.

Today, Rensselaer Environmental Coalition received a 10-page letter that was submitted to Rensselaer Resource Recovery on August 10, 2020 denying DEC permits for both State Air Quality and Solid Waste Management. The applicant recently demanded an immediate decision from DEC on their application. This decision comes at a time when environmental injustices are growing across the country.

Rensselaer Environmental Coalition applauds DEC’s decision denying permits for BioHiTech and its operator, Rensselaer Resource Recovery LLC. This facility was sited in the wrong place at the wrong time as the Rensselaer community continues to suffer from the many impacts of the Dunn C&D Landfill.

Rensselaer Environmental Coalition urges the DEC to utilize the same scrutiny against the Dunn C&D Landfill. The landfill has been notorious for its sickening hydrogen sulfide odors, blowing debris and countless violations since it’s operations began in 2015. The facility accepts construction and demolition debris waste from 7 Northeast states. Illegal household waste and medical documents have been found blowing across the nearby cemetery and Governor’s Square community in East Greenbush.

Children and teachers of the nearby Rensselaer City School District have complained for several years about the stench of hydrogen sulfide gas entering school cooridors and classrooms. In addition, residents of Partition Street are forced to deal with the daily assault of tractor trailers. Nearly 100 tractor trailers traverse the steep hills of Partition Street each day, Monday through Friday on their way to and from the landfill. Truck traffic starts at 6:35 in the morning and lasts to 4:30 in the afternoon. Trucks rattle foundations and spew dust and diesel fumes onto properties along the truck route. The trucks roar as they pass by and shake from the heavy loads, weighing up to 100,000 pounds.

“DEC’s scrutiny of past city administrations and their concern for the health of the environment and Rensselaer community are steps in the right direction in terms of BioHiTech. We’ve said all along that this project would only add to the burden of our neighborhoods and residents who continue to suffer from the Dunn Landfill. It is prudent of DEC to take similar measures against the Dunn Landfill to prevent it from posioning our residents and the environment for years to come,” said Dave Ellis, Chairman of Rensselaer Environmental Coalition.

Riverkeeper news release: DEC denies essential permits for proposed waste facility on the Hudson in the City of Rensselaer

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