ALBANY - The city of Albany is among the state’s dozen worst
polluters for its plans to expand the Rapp Road dump into the Pine
Bush, according to a statewide environmental group’s annual
listing released Tuesday.
Citizens’ Environmental Coalition also cited the General
Electric Co. for alleged foot-dragging over the cleanup of the
Dewey Loeffel dump in Nassau, Rensselaer County; and the state
Department of Environmental Conservation, under former Gov. George
Pataki, for underfunding maverick wildlife pathologist Ward Stone’s
The group also took aim at New Yorkers for Real
Recycling Reform, a lobbying group formed by Food Industry
Alliance, a trade group of food retailers. It had joined with
soft drink makers and beer wholesalers to oppose the proposed
expansion of the state’s
bottle recycling law to include bottled water, sports drinks
and other noncarbonated beverages.
Lynne Jackson, secretary for Save the Pine Bush, convinced
the coalition to give Albany an award - it was a can made to
look like an orange toxic barrel - over the proposed dump expansion.
“She is very much looking forward to awarding this to the
mayor in person,” said coalition Executive Director Steve
Robert Van Amburgh, a spokesman for Mayor Jerry
Jennings, said the city was unaware of the dubious honor, although
Breyman said his group routinely contacts proposed recipients
to see if issues can be negotiated.
“We’ll see what it is,” Van
Amburgh said. The city, which could fill the dump by 2009,
wants its fourth expansion into the Pine Bush.
It was the fourth year in a row that the Dewey
Loeffel dump made the dirty dozen list, said Kelly Travers-Main,
a member of UNCAGED, an East Schodack-based environmental group.
The landfill contains about 46,000 pounds of PCBs, solvents
and other toxic chemicals dumped by GE and others from 1952
to 1970, when it was closed by court order.
Chemicals leaking from the landfill have contaminated
Nassau Lake, the Valatie Kill and Kinderhook Lake in Chatham
and Kinderhook, Columbia County.
Since 2000, pollution has spread to residential
wells southeast of the dump site along Nassau Road as an underground
plume of leachate from the capped landfill continues to spread.
Other recipients of the coalition’s awards were the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, for inadequate testing and
cleanup of buildings near ground zero in Manhattan, as well
as for the slow pace of the cleanup of Onondaga Lake near Syracuse;
En tergy Nuclear Corp. for radioactive leaks at the Indian
Point nuclear reactor; Lower Manhattan Development Corp. for
inadequate cleanup of the Deutsche Bank building near ground
zero; the New York City Sanitation Department for not adopting
more reuse, recycling and composting programs; state Agriculture
and Markets Department for pre-empting local regulations on
factory farms; CWM Services for PCB leaks from a Niagara County
landfill; and J.J. Lyons and Associates for an alleged failure
to pay fines and clean a former defense contractor site in
Brian Nearing can be reached at 454-5094 or
by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.