News from our SCRAP Friends

The Appellate Court hearing on the SCRAP (Selkirk, Coeymans, Ravena Against Pollution) members’ case against the City of Albany will be held on September 5, 2007 at 1pm on the fifth floor of the Justice Building at the Empire State Plaza (for directions, email Jim Travers at

It is the plaintiffs’ contention that the City of Albany has illegally purchased the Coeymans lands for the proposed landfill because the City ignored State Law and the Rules and Regulations of the NYSDEC. It has been nearly thirteen years since the City first signed the purchase option agreements with the landowners on August 30, 1994. The City has not yet complied with the SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act) requirement to submit an Environmental Impact Statement, which, by law, should have been completed before the purchase options were signed.

Oral arguments by the plaintiffs’ attorney, Peter Henner and the City and landowners attorneys are to be heard by the Appellate Court judge on that day.

Briefs prepared for both sides are available and can be obtained by contacting Jim Travers at The public is welcome to attend.

Jim Travers, of SCRAP, also sent along Dr. Orsi’s Letter to Bill Clarke, Region IV Permit Administrator who is reviewing the City of Albany’s proposals for the landfill expansion and the proposed landfill in Selkirk:

Dear Mr Clark:

I am a physician and member of the New York State Medical Society, Rural and Preventative Health committee. In that capacity I have been aware of research regarding the adverse health effects of landfills and waste incineration. That the city of Albany does not have a state of the art recycling program, and that it relies on predatory commercial practices to justify running a landfill is wrong. The financial problems of the city of Albany do not mean the people of Albany, or Coeymans, have to suffer the ill health effects of imported refuse and toxic waste. There are other solutions to their ‘financial woes’. Abuse of the environment is not one of those solutions. The job of DEC is to protect the environment. The financial cost of lost, one of a kind, pine bush habitat is inestimable. There is no debate here. The only questions are: when will the Rapp Road toxic waste site be closed, and when will it be remediated. Expansion or even continued operation is not conscionable. Albany has a record of poor stewardship, they are scofflaws when it comes to following even the weak regulations now in effect, let alone what should be the standard of ‘best available technology’. I urge you in the name of public health to deny the City their inappropriate request to expand the Rapp Road landfill. I further urge you to go beyond this immediate matter and pursue the shutting down of the dump and the elimination of Albany as a dump operator, in Albany or anywhere else.

Richard Orsi, MD, Selkirk, NY 12158