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Jennings Makes A Dump

Plans To Defile Pine Bush

By Daniel Van Riper

Current Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings, recklessly violating mitigation agreements from eight years ago, is pushing for an expansion of the Albany Dump that will sacrifice 25 acres of Pine Bush land. The new mountain of garbage, already christened "Jenning's Pile," will eventually be over 440 feet high and have incalculable negative impact on bordering Pine Bush Preserve.

Save the Pine Bush President Rezsin Adams made our position very clear. "If they're planning to take new acreage, that is contrary to the permit agreement," she said, referring to our 1990 permit agreement with Albany and the State, in which both parties solemnly promised that the dump would never expand again. "We will certainly take action," said Ms. Adams.

The new dump expansion will shove up against the Fox Run Estates trailer park. Residents of Fox Run, who so far have endured a decade of noise, foul odors and toxic ashes, are dismayed by this latest round of bad faith. Every year all 91 homeowners of Fox Run recieve a check for $1000.00 to compensate for the horrors of living under a mountain of waste. Despite this pay-off, residents appear to have had enough. Joan Maybo, president of the Fox Run Tenants Association told the Hearst-owned Times Union, "We thought, 'Oh my god, the light at the end of the tunnel.' And now to find out it's going to be indefinate, it's very disheartening. We just see this as non-stop."

The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is expected to roll over and obediently issue approval of this new environmental hazard. More than a fifth of the garbage in the Dump (euphemistically called "the landfill") is generated by the State of New York, which appreciates having a cheap and convenient place to throw it's trash. Furthermore, Jennings has developed a cozy relationship with the ruling Republicans in the state, even securing a fat patronage job for his brother in the governor's office. In return for favors from the state, many political observers believe that Jennings is planning to defect from the the Democratic to the Republican party, and cause as much damage to the Albany Democrats that he can.

Clearly, the State and the City of Albany will do anything to keep their cheap Dump. In 1989 and 1990, Save the Pine Bush fought a dirty and expensive battle to stop the last Dump expansion in DEC administrative law courts. At one point, then DEC Commissioner Thomas Jorling sent one of his lackeys to successfully intimidate one of our chief witnessess into not testifying, forcing some SPB board members to cash in their retirement funds to keep the case going. Although we won our case, Jorling excercised the power to overule with a one sentence statement. Ironically, his lackey was downsized by the current regime, while Jorling is currently helping Alcoa Aluminum avoid environmental regulations.

As part of the permit agreement for the 1990 expansion, which destroyed a prime habitat for Karner Blue Butterflies, the State agreed to the following: (1) No more expansions of the Dump. Right. (2) A new Dump will be found by December 1992. At the beginning of his term, Jennings pledged to fulfill this point. (3) Some profits from the Dump will go to acquiring and maintaining the Pine Bush Preserve. Most of this money has been squandered. (4) Creation of the Pine Bush Preserve Commission. Well, we sure got that one.

published Dec98/Jan99 Newsletter


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