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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, June 18, 2009

Dump expansion in the Pine Bush awaits DEC decision

By Saranac Hale Spencer

ALBANY COUNTY — Facing an expanding load of garbage, the city of Albany, which realizes a profit from the operation of its dump, is looking to expand the Rapp Road landfill.

“First of all, it shouldn’t have an FEIS,” said Ward Stone, a state wildlife pathologist, referring to the final environmental impact statement that has been submitted for the expansion.  “It shouldn’t be there,” he said of the dump.  “It’s in a preserve.”

The landfill is located in the Pine Bush Preserve, which is home to the endangered Karner blue butterfly, and Stone is vehement that the city should proceed with moving the dump elsewhere.

Albany has explored moving its landfill to Coeymans but has faced community opposition and possible wetlands on the site.  Since 1981, the dump has served the 13 municipalities that make up the Capital Region Solid Waste Management Partnership as well as accepting garbage from private haulers.

“It should not be approved,” Stone said of the FEIS for the expansion, which was accepted by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation on May 28.  The DEC has 30 days from that date to release its decision on the document, said William Clarke, the regional permit administrator for the region.  He would not comment on what the decision will be, but said that it will soon be released.

“The project involves two interrelated components that take a holistic approach to the expansion and closure of the landfill in a manner that will meet the waste management needs of the Planning Unit and will ultimately return the landfill to viable pine barrens habitat,” the FEIS states. 

“The first component is the eastern expansion of the landfill involving an overfill of approximately 23 acres of the existing landfill and a lateral expansion of approximately 15 acres that includes 7 acres within the existing landfill operations area (disturbed/developed lands) and 8 acres within undeveloped City-owned property directly to the northeast.  Existing landfill infrastructure including offices, the recycling building, and other accessory uses will be relocated to three parcels totaling approximately 3.5 acres located directly east of the landfill entrance road off of Rapp Road.”

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