IMPORTANT MESSAGES

REC Blog

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.

Good Luck!

Jon Swan, Founder
SaveForestLake@yahoo.com

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!”

-Lou

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