Law­mak­ers eye limit on in­dus­trial dis­charge

The Record (Troy, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Ni­cholas Buo­nanno nbuo­ @Nick­Buo­nanno on Twit­ter

The Rens­se­laer County Leg­is­la­ture is eye­ing a mea­sure that would limit an in­dus­trial dis­charge that con­tam­i­nated a su­per­fund site in Nas­sau.

Law­mak­ers in­tro­duced a lo­cal law Tues­day to limit the dis­charge of 1.4-diox­ane, a car­cino­gen, which was present in the ground­wa­ter at the Dewey Lo­ef­fel Land­fill. The lev­els of diox­ane were more than nine times the level county of­fi­cials want to limit. The wa­ter is dis­charged into the Valatie Kill, which flows through Rens­se­laer and Columbia coun­ties.

Leg­is­la­tors said the lo­cal ac­tion was needed be­cause the state and the U.S. En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency hasn’t lim­ited the dis­charge of this par­tic­u­lar con­tam­i­nant.

Once passed, the EPA will be forced to test the con­tam­i­nated wa­ter be­ing dis­charged on a weekly ba­sis to en­sure the con­tam­i­nant is found to be at or lower than the ac­cept­able stan­dards and re­port those find­ings to the Rens­se­laer County Depart­ment of Health.

“This is a se­ri­ous pub­lic health is­sue, and it is time for the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to treat it as one,” said Leg­is­la­ture Vice Chair­man Alex Shan­non, whose dis­trict in­cludes parts of Nas­sau.

Two other leg­is­la­tors who rep­re­sent parts of Nas­sau ap­plauded the de­ci­sion. Leg­is­la­tor Bob Loveridge said the ac­tion is a “ma­jor step forward in deal­ing with the dam­age this fed­eral Su­per­fund site has done to our com­mu­nity.”

Leg­is­la­tor Judy Bre­selor called the EPA’s in­ac­tion on lim­it­ing the con­tam­i­nant “un­ac­cept­able” and “has forced us to act on be­half of the res­i­dents of Rens­se­laer County.”

County Ex­ec­u­tive Kathy Jimino will host a pub­lic hear­ing on the mat­ter af­ter the leg­is­la­ture’s reg­u­lar Novem­ber meet­ing. She said the county had no choice but to take ac­tion on its own.

“While I feel strongly that is­sues such as this should be ad­dressed at the state and fed­eral level, their in­ac­tion up to this point de­mands that we take ac­tion at the lo­cal level,” Jimino said.

Nas­sau Town Su­per­vi­sor David Fleming, who has been fight­ing this is­sue for a long time, said that he is thrilled that the leg­is­la­ture is in­tro­duc­ing this new lo­cal law.

“This pro­posed law is not just a vi­tal piece of leg­is­la­tion to pro­tect the res­i­dents of Nas­sau and south­ern Rens­se­laer County; it will have a dra­matic im­pact on the Hud­son River Water­shed and New York state pol­icy,” Fleming said. “I com­mend Leg­is­la­tors Loveridge, Shan­non and Bre­selor for fight­ing for the pro­tec­tion of our res­i­dents by ad­vanc­ing leg­is­la­tion to pre­vent con­tam­i­na­tion of Rens­se­laer County wa­ter­ways. Clean wa­ter is a right and should not be a priv­i­lege.”

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