The following has been compiled and forwarded to me by a group of concerned Amsterdam citizens:
Proposed C&D Landfill Concerns
The following areas have been identified as inherently problematic with regard to the C&D Landfill project and have not been addressed by AMR.
• Dust & Leachate: materials may contain formaldehyde resins, epoxy, phenolic resins, creosote, vinyl toluene and dozens of other toxic chemicals. When mixed together in great quantities and crushed, these components become airborne particulates or components of the liquid drained off the landfill. The proposal states it will attempt to control airborne particulates by spraying the landfill site with a combination of the contaminated leachate agent mixed with storm water drain off, releasing more contaminants into the air. There is no plan to address potential health and safety threats. Liability would fall to the City.
• Blasting: air blast, flyrock, and ground vibration may all cause structural damage to surrounding residences and infrastructure (water lines, sewer lines, building foundations, wells, etc.) There is no plan to address potential damage. Liability would fall to the City.
• Noise: will be emitted from blasting, heavy trucks (engine, gears, air-brakes), concrete crushing, tub grinders and trash compactors. Whether intermittent or temporary, noise that exceeds the baseline equilibrium levels is intrusive and unacceptable.
• Odor: hydrogen sulfide gas released by deteriorating gypsum. There is no plan to remedy this inevitability.
• Increased truck traffic equating to a rate of approximately one truck every three minutes during construction phase and every six minutes once operational.
• High-pressure gas transmission line and above ground high-power utility lines through the middle of the property. National Grid owns right of way.
• Litigation by the Town of Amsterdam, Losurdo Foods, Inc., and potentially the surrounding residences.
• Rejection of proposed plan by County Board of Supervisors, Montgomery County Planning Commission, City Planning Commission, current AIDA Board, and Amsterdam Common Council.
• Unattained permitting: zoning variances, construction, waste and storm-water, water quality, mined land, private road crossing & utility.
• Falling property values of surrounding properties.
• Acquisition or condemnation of unavailable property will be necessary to garner sufficient land for the project.
• Environmental justice issues remain without complete remedy.
• $1.2 Million set aside for maintenance and closure. It is questionable whether this is sufficient to address need or emergency.
• Liability for potential faulty project outcomes has not been sufficiently addressed: compromised structure, long-term health and safety impacts, environmental concerns all of which rise to the severity of class-action litigation.
• Unreliable revenue projections: prices for material tonnage based on fluxuating market. Also, The Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) set up by AMR to run operations will receive fixed revenues while the City’s profits will be variable and therefore unpredictable. The LLC is protected in the proposed arrangement; the City shoulders risk and liability.
• Costs: the city will shoulder all costs for start-up (operations, equipment, training, etc.)
• Bonding: repayment of the bond is dependent on generated revenues, which, again, are dependent on a variable market.
• Plans: There is no business plan beyond the proposal supplied by AMR. The City’s motivations/goals/risks differ from those of the vendor.
The proposed AMR landfill project does not fit the vision of the city’s comprehensive plan, is not a sustainable economic development solution, and is contrary to the present zoning laws that disallow a landfill and protect the health and safety of all city residents.
“…it is questionable that the site would otherwise be considered a prime location for a solid waste landfill. The cut and fill required, the slopes of the site, the zoning prohibitions and the residential character of much of the nearby area would probably preclude consideration of the site under other reasonable siting criteria.”
– DEC, 2004 regarding DEIS