Village of Athens proposed C&D project must have thorough environmental review process

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Village of Athens proposed C&D project must have thorough environmental review process

This petition made change with 2,150 supporters!
Keep It Greene started this petition to Regional Director, NYSDEC Region 4 Keith Goertz and

 

We, the members of the Village of Athens and surrounding impacted communities, share Village of Athens Mayor Stephan Bradicich’s concerns about a potential construction and demolition (C&D) processing facility, outlined in his February 28, 2020 letter to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). Mayor Bradicich addressed Athens Stevedoring & Environmental Development LLC’s - Athens Terminal (Applicant) Registration application for a new solid waste management and C&D processing facility proposed at 133 North Washington Street in Athens. Mayor Bradicich’s letter states that issuing or approving a Registration is, at best, premature and we agree. NYSDEC must not grant this Registration as a “ministerial” act and instead exercise due diligence to determine whether permits will be necessary and trigger a thorough State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process. 

There are a number of reasons that Applicant’s application might be denied outright, including its poor compliance history and that the location may be in one or more categories of prohibited siting types [e.g., wetlands, floodplains and/or endangered species related areas]. If permits are required, then the NYSDEC must identify the Applicant’s project as a Type 1 Action, determine if the Applicant needs to apply for additional permits, and if so, initiate a SEQR analysis and full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) because of the potential significant adverse impacts on the environment in the Village of Athens and beyond:

1.  “Processing” C&D materials onsite (e.g., crushing and screening) will produce noise and dust that could devastate local hospitality and other businesses. These include nature-based waterfront activities like duck hunting, striper fishing, and recreational boating, particularly since the Athens Boat Launch, a New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation boat launch site for Greene County, shares its northern boundary with the proposed C&D processing site.

2.  The projected trucking of 8,400 tons of debris per week from the site would cause a massive and potentially dangerous increase in Village truck traffic. The sheer volume would require dozens of fully-laden tractor trailers driving the winding, narrow roads and streets of this historic village. At best, there would be a 40-ton tractor trailer driving through Athens every ten minutes, at worst, a 20-ton tractor trailer every five minutes. This high-volume traffic will have substantial negative impacts on the Athens Lower Village Historic District (District #80002616), which is roughly bordered by the Hudson River, NYS Route 385, and Vernon and Market Streets. 

3.  Increased barge traffic in the narrow River channel will have detrimental effects on the critically important freshwater tidal wetlands and freshwater tidal creeks, disrupt the use of the adjacent New York State Athens Boat Launch and Village parks, and the increased turbulence could churn up dangerous PCBs resting on the river bed, risking human and environmental health.

4.  Airborne particulate matter, “fines,” and odors from the site can irritate eyes, throats, and lungs, exacerbating respiratory sensitivities particularly for children, the ill, and the elderly.

5.  There is a significant risk of contaminated runoff into the Hudson River. The site is located in a flood zone with a current berm height of four to five feet, which is insufficient to protect against storm surge dispersal of debris. 

Given these many potential significant adverse environmental impacts and others, the Applicant’s project must be identified as a Type 1 Action under SEQR, which would require a Positive Declaration and full Environmental Impact Statement at the Applicant’s expense. 

We look forward to hearing the NYSDEC’s response to our important and urgent request.  

RESOURCES

VIEW The Full Community Event in the Village of Athens on Sunday, 3/1/20

Brought to you by Keep It Greene and Friends of Athens

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