For Immediate Release: January 25, 2006
For Further Information, contact Lynne Jackson
ALBANY, NY — Mayor Jennings’ new landfill proposal
is just as bad as his last proposal, only his new proposal
may mean the end of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve.
Mayor Jennings proposes to take 10 acres from the forever
wild Albany Pine Bush Preserve and turn it into the landfill.
“Land dedicated to the Preserve is forever wild, which
means forever wild. Taking land from the Preserve for
a dump sets a terrible precedent. Who is to say that
in another five years another ten acres won’t be needed,
and then another and another until there is no Preserve left? What
is the meaning of having a preserve if public officials can
willy-nilly take land from the Preserve and use it to dump
garbage whenever they please?” said Lynne Jackson, volunteer
for Save the Pine Bush. “It does not take a rocket
scientist to see where this is going — the Mayor won’t
stop until the entire city Preserve is stuffed with garbage.”
The Mayor’s new landfill plan was concocted after Save
the Pine Bush’s most recent victory. The day after Save
the Pine Bush sued Mayor Jennings and the City of Albany to
force the city to dedicate the Fox Run Moblie Home Park to
the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, Mayor Jennings announced
that the city would do as required — dedicate this important
land to the Preserve. Attorney Peter Henner represented
Save the Pine Bush.
Taking dedicated pieces of the Preserve and filling them with
garbage will be the death knell for the Pine Bush.
The future of Pine Bush ecosystem is not secure. Only about
half of the ecosystem has been purchased for preservation,
and there is not enough Pine Bush in the Preserve today for
the ecosystem to survive. Thousands more acres need to
be purchase to protect the Pine Bush in perpetuity.
Save the Pine Bush calls upon the Mayor to look for other
solutions to Albany’s garbage problem, and to retract
the proposal to take land from the Preserve.
Save the Pine Bush calls upon the Mayor to open up the process
to solve Albany’s garbage problem. Save the Pine
Bush calls upon the Mayor to take the negotiations out of the
back room and put them in a hearing room. Albany is home
to many scientists and engineers, why not call upon the collective
intelligence of the citizens to solve this crucial problem
instead of making secret deals?
The Pine Bush is a globally rare pine barrens ecosystem located
on top of sand dunes. The dominate species are pitch-pines
and scrub oaks. The most famous resident of the Pine
Bush is the federally and state endangered Karner Blue butterfly. In
2000, when the City of Albany received a permit to operate
the P-4 Landfill expansion, the City was required to purchase
and dedicate the Fox Run Mobile Home Park. Though the
City purchased the Mobile Home Park in 2000, they did not dedicate
it to the Preserve as required. Instead, last November,
the City applied to expand the landfill on the site of the
mobile home park. Save the Pine Bush, sued the
Mayor and the City on January 18 of this year to force the
City to dedicate the land to the Preserve.
The proposed site is on top of a principle aquifer, meaning
an aquifer that has enough flow and capacity to produce water
for a municipality. It is illegal in New York State to
site a landfill on top of a principal aquifer.
In 1990, then DEC Commissioner Thomas Jorling, upon granting
approval of an earlier expansion of the Rapp Road landfill,
declared "I cannot envision any set of circumstances that
would justify the extension of the life of this interim landfill
or the approval of another such facility in any other part
of the Albany Pine Bush”. This is the third proposed
landfill expansion after Mr. Jorling’s statement. Ms.
Jackson said, “Clearly, no government official is willing
to stop the City from destroying the Pine Bush by filling it
with garbage. ”