Updates in Brief — Trucks, Zero-Waste Tulipfest and a Leaking Landfill

by Tom Ellis

Rensselaer city residents have intensified their efforts to stop nearly 100 large trucks per day from driving through the downtown. The trucks, which have 18, 22, 24, or 26 wheels. supposedly carry construction and demolition (C&D) debris wastes. They traverse Broadway and turn east onto Partition Street with its steep hill en-route to a C&D dump at the east end of Partition Street.

The trucks arrive beginning at 6:30 each weekday morning; dozens go by before 7:30, and most before noon, five days a week, 250 days per year, year after year.. Each truck makes a return trip rattling the neighborhood. Residents view the truck traffic as a major public health issue due to the huge volume of trucks, the steepness of the Partition Street hill, noise, falling debris, dirt, dust, diesel exhaust, and brake fumes. Many of the houses on the north side of Partition Street are very close to the road. Some of the trucks are not fully covered on the way in and many are not covered at all on the return trip. Residents can feel the vibrations as the trucks go by and are certain that downtown Rensselaer can never reach its potential as long as this immense truck traffic continues.

This still-unnamed group is seeking help from people with expertise deciphering environmental impact statements and could use the help of a pro bono attorney. For more information or if you would like to help, call Partition Street resident Lou Sebesta @ 518-915-3451 or via email at lou.sebesta@gmail.com.

In other news, residents from area counties are meeting regularly to propose healthy and sustainable solid waste solutions and create community and political pressure to have them implemented. They met with a group of Albany County legislators in October about expanding composting, and will soon propose to the City of Albany that it make the 2018 Tulip Fest a zero waste event.

Times Union reporter Brian Nearing reported November 18 that a test “of water leaking from from a pipe that drains the Colonie town landfill into the Mohawk River found elevated levels of PFOA,” the same industrial chemical found in the Hoosick Falls (Rensselaer County) drinking water a few years ago. The Hudson River advocacy group Riverkeeper took the samples. The towns of Halfmoon and Waterford continue to strenuously oppose a town of Colonie application to nearly triple the size of its old dump located on the south shore of the Mohawk River. DEC has yet to respond to requests made more than a year ago by Waterford and Halfmoon town governments for DEC to conduct a formal adjudicatory hearing on the dump expansion proposal. .

Published in December 2017/January 2018 Newsletter
Save the Pine Bush Newsletter