From the Desk of Jack Conway - East Greenbush Town Supervisor

Supervisor's Report - September 27, 2019

The problems experienced by East Greenbush residents from the Dunn Landfill have reached an unacceptable level. We have held lengthy discussions with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) about the problem because we wanted to register our displeasure and, more importantly, to understand what they’re doing about it. It’s frustrating to have a problem like this occur in a different jurisdiction because our hands are essentially tied.

In August, DEC issued a Department Initiated Modification to the City of Rensselaer’s permit for the Dunn Landfill. The modification requires the City to prepare an enhanced Odor Control Plan. The landfill must be covered daily instead of weekly as listed in the permit. In addition, the City must implement an enhanced gas collection system. Air monitors are currently taking readings every ten minutes and DEC has personnel on site daily.

DEC has also established an ODOR HOTLINE so that people can report any odor issues they are experiencing. The number for the ODOR HOTLINE can be found on the DEC website.

Last week the City of Rensselaer accepted the modifications and agreed to submit a plan for gas collection modification within thirty days. Although people in Town are impatient and many are cynical that a solution will take precedence over the profit and revenue implications of the landfill, DEC is extremely effective in their monitoring function.It may take time before the modifications will have a tangible effect on the odor and debris problems but we will monitor the situation and assert pressure whenever it seems that the situation hasn’t improved.

DEC assured me that the landfill will not cause health problems but they also acknowledged that this is an important quality of life issue that needs to be addressed. I’m sorry that our residents have to deal with this issue because although it may not reach the measured level of a health problem, many seniors and people with respiratory issues are experiencing discomfort. Others are suffering from the quality of life aspect, unable to sit on their decks or in their yards. No one in East Greenbush is profiting from the situation but many are suffering.