Pollution of Land & Air is Criminal
If you haven’t shut down the landfill yet, I think you should get a resolution signed by a thousand people that has words to the following effect: The Resolution No where will you find in New York law or municipal charters, codes, rules or regulation where a citizen, business, corporate person, or state agency has any right or authority to be or support a public nuisance by virtue of any legal authority or administrative standing of any party in contract with the State and creating a health and happy dwelling nuisance and endangerment as a result of that contract. Neither by ownership, usage, property oversight, usufruct or economic contract, condition or liberties is any state authority empowered to rescind an emergency order by a municipality for the immediate protection, health and well-being of persons, property and dwellings against nuisance per se trespass by direct or indirect means, by accident or intent. Pollution of air and land is a criminal trespass covered by New York penal law section 140, or, at least should be for fairness and economic equity. Even if it is not, the material circumstances inducing the order to shut down landfill sites is sufficient grounds to take action by a municipality to alleviate the dangers immediate and long term.
The legitimacy of the order can be worked on in court for there is no irreparable damage that, without a restraint on the order, would have happened. The stopping of a landfill is the exact definition of a protection of the environment and the citizenry and has much the greater standing under law. The order itself would do considerable good. All government policy must place the citizen first against any Capital identity of any individual or state entity. These are the meaning and purpose under law of the reserved rights of citizens authorized under our constitution. America is not a Fascist Dictatorship and the Judiciary still has standing and authority over matters such as health emergencies, pandemics and crisis such as we are now facing and it behooves all branches of government and all municipalities, if necessary, to err in the direction of the greatest safety to the greatest number. We are still in a 600 year pandemic and all unnecessary and deleterious industries such as landfills should be shut down for the duration. In the present case, the matter is not simply one of negligence and endangerment, it operation, being aided and abetted by the State is a civil violation of the rights and responsibilities of this local municipality. Any elected official or guardian of the peace who is not making every effort to shut down the land fill immediately is in breach of their fiduciary responsibilities to the citizenry. The cynical theory set out by selfish landlords looking to keep their taxes lowered by getting kick backs for the city from the owners of the landfill and thus permitting the violation of the land and the reduction of everyone’s property values, is hardly a defense against negligence and self dealing. There are no neutrals in this matter of life and death.
– Victor Batorsky
DEC Can Do More
We truly appreciate the NYSDEC for opening up the application process to allow for public input and extensive review if the Dunn Construction and Demolition Landfill files for an application to renew its operating permit by January 22, 2022.
There is a lot more the DEC can do about this operation and how it is affecting the communities around it and applying much greater oversight of this operation. The location of this landfill next door to the K-12 school with the truck route through residential areas screams out for priority attention from the regulators.
The community is up in arms over the destruction and hazards this operation brings to the local communities. Rensselaer County, the City of Rensselaer and the Town of East Greenbush have all called fir it’s immediate closure.
Experts have testified that it is a clear and present danger to people especially children.
Community residents have been surveyed and have provided overwhelming evidence on the negative impact on their lives.
So where is the additional scrutiny ? Why isn’t it happening? Do the poor people in Rensselaer not deserve the same attention as the people in the suburbs? Is it because this operation is causing slow and insidious destruction and health consequences instead of immediate and obvious damage that makes a difference? Doesn’t anyone care about long term consequences? What about the children?
The State of New York is responsible for the pain, fear, anxiety, destruction of health, quality of life, this operation inflicts on a daily basis to the surrounding community. They gave final approval to this location. They are responsible!
Region 4 of DEC is located in Schenectady. This office is from where monitoring is to take place. It does not work because no regular DEC staff is assigned full time responsibility for monitoring the operation. They are not there day in and day out to personally monitor the operations and speak with community residents about the problems they are experiencing. The only on site monitor is a contract employee who works for an Enginneering firm that in the final analysis is paid for by the landfill’s owners. Gee, I wonder why that doesn’t work?
What could a regular employee do? First thing is to do a regular in person audit of the weighing of the trucks when they come into the landfill to see that overweight loads are not being accepted. There has not been one report of an overweight load from the Dunn facility to DEC since they opened in January 2015. In addition there have been only 4 reports if unauthorized materials during that entire time. These two facts should tell you that the operation is essentially unregulated in the most serious aspects of its operation.
The numerous complaints of residents are inadequately administered, There is a hot line answered “Dunn Landfill” by contract operators who then transmit an email to DEC. In almost al, cases the person making the complaint never hears any more about it, and has no record of the complaint. A DEC employee with a cell phone and a computer on site could immediately take complaints and investigate.
In 2019 the Rensselaer School Board requested the DEC Commissioner to take steps to measure the fine particulate in the aur near the school and to involve the State Health Department in that effort. It has never been done.
Our new Governor could correct all these issues in a heart beat if she looked in her new backyard and picked up the phone and asked Commissioner to do his job, or better yet to take immediate steps to get this operation closed.
– Bob Welton
Governor Square Residents Not Happy
We have lived in the Governors Square neighborhood of East Greenbush for the past 25 years. For the first 20 years our homes and lives had been peaceful and pleasant, but five years ago a horrendous dump (the Dunn Landfill) was sited right next to a school high above the city of Rensselaer. The dump also borders our neighborhood; even though we were here first, we were given no input or say in the siting of this dump which has negatively impacted our neighborhood and our lives for 5 years now. The noxious hydrogen sulfide smells are pervasive every day and the constant grinding and beeping of the vehicles dumping and bulldozing in the landfill have ruined our quality of life. We cannot understand how this dump was allowed to be paced in this site in the first place and certainly cannot understand why it is still there. The DEC, DOH, and Governor Cuomo should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to be sited here in the first place and for not immediately closing it down! This is a blatant example of environmental injustice and those who allow it to continue are morally and ethically bankrupt!
– Jonathan Pollack
Save Forest Lake Fighting Casella Waste Systems
Hello from Northern New Hampshire! We are in the midst of a fight vs a garbage corporation, Casella Waste systems, as they seek to create a new landfill on up to 1900 acres of land adjacent to Forest Lake and Forest Lake State Park. (2000 ft from the water)
We, too, are very concerned about the nuisance and health hazards to our community posed by this irresponsible landfill development. Up to 100 tractor trailers are expected to roll thru one of our communities, depending on preferred route.
We would welcome sharing information and news relative to your fight, and offer mutual assistance and support.
We are on facebook, Save Forest Lake, and have a website, www.SaveForestlake.com
Do you have video of the tractor trailers rolling thru town? We would love to share them…we have a youtube page as well.
Jon Swan, Founder
We Need Action And We Need You!
“I am involved in this effort with REC and I guess what I write here is airing my frustration in public about the Dunn Landfill and it’s operation and it’s regulation. The one thing the Dunn operators and owners care most about is staying in business. That is capitalism by its nature and it is understandable. The problem is however that their business is ruining some people’s lives and due to long term affects it may be more than some people. Whether we consider the long term affects of being exposed to PFAS chemicals, the dangerous elements that blow from the landfill into the community, the overloaded and largely unregulated trucks that go into and out of the facility every day, spewing diesel, fumes and disrupting the quality of life if the adjoining neighborhoods, the operation by its very nature is a hazard.
So it is a business, but one that us supposed to be regulated by the State and held to account by our elected leaders. It is not! To prove that point ask yourself these questions. 1. Why are trucks not being stopped and inspected on a regular weekly basis an if they are in violation in any way turned around and sent back to where they came from? Why does the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation not release to the public the test results for PFAS chemicals they have had for months from the streams surrounding the landfill? Moreover with what they have found why don’t they test the leachate on site at the landfill for PFAS? Why don’t they test the sludge and the affluent that comes out of the Albany Waste Water treatment plant in Menands after the leachate is trucked there and processed by the plant? Why does the NYDEC continue a hotline arrangement so people can call in and complain about the landfill but then the person complaining never hears any more and has no record of their complaint? Why does DEC refuse to give REC an email to report the problems to so there can be accountability? What good does it do to have an independent contractor answer the phone “Dunn Landfill” so the person calling thinks they are reporting the problem to the business that is causing the problem? Why is the person (called an on site monitor)on site at the landfill who can deal with operational issues and has the authority to shut down operations an independent contractor and not a NYSDEC staff person? Why is this business allowed to make monetary donations to the School the the landfill abuts?
Long story short if you attempt to answer any of these questions in an honest way or get answers to these questions you either get no answer whatsoever or an answer that basically says “it works best for us”.
All of it is designed to help keep the landfill in business and to have the so called safe guards be entirely without teeth and designed to look like this operation is being regulated. Sure there have been fines and the landfill has established “mitigating systems” but it us all window dressing. The sulfide gas system does not work in cold weather and people who call to complain get no actual help.
When DEC does do something it is all for public relations and the trucks keep rolling and the problems continue.
There is no concerted, consistent effort on the part of the agency that is supposed to protect the people.
I wonder what would happen if a bi-weekly zoom session were held by DEC with members of the public asking for answers to the issues above and related issues with the press in attendance if positive change would start to happen? It would have to be in a format where there are not long winded presentations, but question and answer with documented follow up actions. I guess it would be like a public hearing where the public gets to ask the questions. You might say this is open and transparent government responding to the needs of the people. It would need to happen on a bi weekly basis and be long enough so everyone gets to ask their questions.
It is my frustration and if it is also yours the join with us at stopdunn.org, attend our meetings, raise your voices, get your friends and neighbors involved. We don’t have much time since the permit comes up for renewal in 2022. We need action and we need you!”
– Bob Welton
WHY AREN’T THE TRUCKS BEING INSPECTED?
On September 17, 2018 an article in the Albany Times Union titled “ State Police crack down on trucks bound for Rensselaer Dump” by Brian Nearing detailed results of the State Police pulling over 36 of the trucks bound for the Dunn Landfill and issued 170 citations for the 36 trucks that were pulled over. 29 of the citations were for overweight trucks.
This incredible statistic seems to have been left hanging out there with no follow up by anyone who has responsibility.
Up to 100 trucks a day are going to the landfill and the sample in this article should give anyone a clue that most trucks are going across bridges, highways, local streets and bridges to the dump do not meet safety guidelines and are likely over weight limits.
Does DEC ever ask for more stops? Shouldn’t this be done on a regular basis? Are reports to the Dunn or from Dunn to DEC ever report an overweight truck? Does the Dunn ever reject a truck? Is the town not getting its proper fees from the Dunn because the weight reports are not accurate? Is the Dunn making more money by not accurately reporting the weights? Are the bridges, highways, local roads and bridges undergoing unacceptable stress. Are the trucks endangering the public because they are overloaded and operating in an unsafe condition?
Please help us find the answers by joining our cause.
A Message From Lou
“We should get the word out loudly to be heard over the outrageous roar of the dirty, filthy, diesel-spewing, dusty CD and dump trucks that “Rensselaer Can’t Breathe.” And that in these times of the COVID-19 pandemic that we in Rensselaer are at higher risk ofcontracting that dreaded disease. We have higher stress levels, we can’t get enough peaceful sleep.
I feel like this dump and its warring army of trucks are assaulting us relentlessly. I feel like I have a truck tire on my neck, I can’t breathe and I’m going deaf from the incessant roar and I’m desperate to take some action to shut this bad neighbor and its parade of loud and filthy trucks down!”