On Monday December 18, 2018, NYSDEC Regional Director Paul D’Amato sent a formal letter to Waste Management of NY, LLC (WM) regarding continued odor complaints at the High Acres Landfill facility. In his letter, Director D’Amato expressed his concern over allegations that a recent derailment resulted in NYC waste being delayed nearly 21 days before it was disposed at High Acres.
D’Amato’s response also stated that it has become increasingly clear that transport time is related to odor generation at the landfill, and emphasized the importance of a thorough odor study should WM continue to accept refuse via rail.
However, the odor study in reference should be heavily scrutinized by all parties.
In a response to this letter, Fresh Air for the Eastside President, Gary McNeil, relayed his concerns about the process for conducting the odor study. He points out that an “inherent flaw in this process is that WM is the one conducting the study.” He goes on to provide examples of WM’s continued history of lies and manipulation with this situation including:
Falsehoods in the EIS regarding gas generation caused by increased volume via rail and their ability to manage it
Lies regarding "taking trucks off the street"
Lies about the tarp they purchased
Lies about the tremors they caused
Targeting of residents that complain about odors
Intimidation of anyone who went onsite prior to the lawsuit being filed
Calling "Towpath" an independent third party when in reality they are tied directly to WM revenue streams
Political contributions intended to buy the silence of local and state politicians
Failed promises and deadlines throughout the course of the last year (too many to recount)
Sharing Gary’s concerns, FAFE’s attorney Linda Shaw also followed up with Director D’Amato, urging him to use the petition filed earlier this year to effect permit changes, and set in place limits for receipt of waste by train to prevent further nuisance.
“Earlier today, we received a letter from NYSDEC indicating that waste more than 21 days old, sat in train cars 21 days, before heading to High Acres. The letter suggests that transport of NYC’s garbage by train is causing a continuing nuisance to the Perinton/Macedon community. Waste this old is putrid and should not be disposed of at a landfill this close to a heavily populated residential area. WM’s permit needs to be amended to prevent NYC’s waste from being shipped to this facility.” – Linda Shaw, Esq. Knauf Shaw LLP
Shaw went on to explain that NYC has officially been added to the formal complaint with the United States District Court Western District of New York against Waste Management of New York LLC.
This sentiment that was later reiterated in the Democrat and Chronicle’s coverage of this ongoing issue.
FAFE continues to believe that the only way to resolve this issue is to:
Pause intake of the NYC garbage until methods are developed to manage materials
Stop future disposal of solid waste within cells 10 and 11 (Perinton)
End all nuisances caused by the landfill operations, and
Investigate and remediate the odors and their impact.