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Albany County protesters want Connecticut garbage plan trashed

December 27, 2017 06:38 PM

COEYMANS - Area residents packed the Coeymans Town Hall Wednesday morning as officials held a news conference to express concerns over a plan to bring more than 100,000 tons of trash from Connecticut to the Capital Region every year to be incinerated.

The local company that would be on the receiving end of the garbage says there's nothing to worry about. They’ve withdrawn any interest in that proposal. However, folks here say they need something more binding than the company's word.

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"Why can’t we have clean air here and what is it that makes Coeymans such an attractive area for pollution," asked Barbara Heinzem of Coeymans.

Residents around the Capital Region should be concerned according to those in attendance at a news conference in Coeymans Wednesday morning. LafargeHolcim pursued a partnership with a company called Mustang Renewable Power Ventures out of California, on a proposal to bring trash from Connecticut to Ravena for incineration. Judith Enck, former regional Environmental Protection Agency administrator for Rensselaer County, says simply put, it's a bad idea.

"I am really concerned about air pollution from garbage burning, whether it’s at a conventional incinerator like Hudson Falls or in a cement kiln," explained Enck. "Today we had a united front sending a message to the state of Connecticut that we don't want garbage burning in Albany County."

Connecticut is closing down an old, outdated incinerator and needs to figure out how to take out the trash for 70 communities. One of the three options they're considering would be to transport the garbage to the Capital Region to be burned up at the local cement kiln operated by Lafarge.

"We are totally opposed to any garbage being burned in this town or this area and we are going to do everything possible to stop it," avowed Coeymans Supervisor Philip Crandall.

Lafarge has come out in recent days to say publicly that they have withdrawn any interest in this opportunity and will not be burning trash here. They've even take an ad in the Times Union saying as much. However, local officials want something more binding than the company's word, saying they only learned of this proposal when an environmental group in Pennsylvania got wind of it and tipped them off two weeks ago.

"I spoke to the Connecticut commissioner twice last week. As of Friday, they were still considering this," pointed out Enck. "So we need Lafarge to write a letter today saying we are not doing this."

NewsChannel 13’s Jerry Gretzinger got a response from Lafarge on Wednesday afternoon. The head of US communications said there is no deal in place to accept Connecticut trash and burn it in Ravena and they say the local plant doesn't even have the capability to do so.

They say their name was used in the proposal without their consent by Mustang.

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WNYT Staff

Copyright 2017 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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