Another Deadline Wafts by...but at least there's a new cannon to show for it?

As of April 30th, the clock has run out on all promised remediation deadlines. With it, Fresh Air for the Eastside, Inc. (FAFE) surpassed the 6-month mark for app-recorded complaints, confidence in town board members hit a new low, and resident patience runs thin as a new Waste Management (WM) odor-mitigation effort lights up the sky. 

In recent meetings, residents in Perinton pushed their board members to take a firm stance on the continued presence of odors at the WM-run facility, and to provide clear next steps for how to address the issue. Many residents found answers from board members remained weak at best. There was a general avoidance of steps to take more [legal] action, and several references to the town being backed into a corner. 

Which is why, when a new blinking green light suddenly appeared at High Acres, members started scratching their heads. With all the media attention this week, was this the result of an additional mandate from the Town of Perinton? High Acres has grown at an alarming rate in the past few weeks. Did the landfill finally require FAA lights? Could there be a fire? 

From what can be found online, FAFE has learned the following:

  1. The light is from a machine that is geared towards reducing or eliminating odors at the working face of a landfill.
  2. Machines like this produce a fine mist curtain that bind with dust and odor particles in the air. These bound particles then fall on the ground. This method, leaves the air as if it were "washed".
  3. The machine rotates in what appears to be 360 degrees. This is what gave FAFE members the 'blinking' visual.
  4. One website describes one of the product's benefits as giving a "good impression to authorities and monitoring- and enforcement bodies".

FAFE has expressed the following concerns: 

  1. What exactly is being sprayed into the air? 
  2. What effect does it have on a residents' olfactory mechanisms?
  3. How much higher is Cell 11 permitted to go? 

Despite several requests, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has not yet offered any explanation as to what this cannon is, what it is blowing into the air, or why this equipment is a new addition to WM's operations at High Acres. 

While in recent weeks odors have seemed to marginally decrease, FAFE has continued to log days with excess of 100 complaints. And, since May 1st, there have been 60 complaints and counting. 

FAFE stands firm that the organization will not rest until there are no complaints as expected downwind of High Acres landfill. FAFE will continue to work to hold the towns, NYSDEC, and WM accountable to ensure this does not happen again.