by Chris Kielb
Rensselaer residents and others are continuing their work fighting the tractor trailer truck traffic passing through residential neighborhoods to and from the Dunn Construction and Demolition landfill. Members of the group Stop Trucks Assaulting Rensselaer (STAR) recently met for a second time with the executive committee of the Hudson-Mohawk chapter of the Sierra Club. A summary of DEC documents obtained by STAR, including the permit, public hearing notes and annual reports, was presented. Also discussed was the recent resolution sent to DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos by the Rensselaer County Legislature. This resolution, whose stated purpose is to protect the health and well being of Rensselaer residents, does not go far enough to achieve this mission. It focuses on urging DEC to enforce the terms of the permit, a permit that does not protect residents from the loud chronic noise, diesel exhaust and dust generated by the trucks because the findings statement relating to these critical issues is inadequate.
The local Sierra Club has offered to help residents with legal action. Documents pertaining to the case are in the hands of an environmental lawyer and we are waiting for his legal analysis to see whether the permit can be challenged. We would also like him to address the feasibility of a civil lawsuit to compensate affected residents, to re-evaluate the EJ status of the affected community, to take a closer look at weight limits on city streets and to assess the possibly of re-routing the trucks. There is a precedent for re-routing: DEC issued a permit to nearby Valente Gravel in 1995 allowing them to construct an alternate access route from I-90.
STAR has scheduled a second day- long truck census, and a meeting with a noise assessment expert to assess the possibility of conducting a survey in residential areas on the truck route. Other plans include hosting a block party to get to know other affected neighbors and sign petitions, and networking with others facing similar problems in their neighborhoods.
For more information please refer to the article written in the April-May newsletter and the Stop Trucks Assaulting Rensselaer FB site.
Published in June-July 2018 Save the Pine Bush Newsletter