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Coeymans officials vote to amend town's clean air law

Dec 01, 2020 6:00 am
Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Capital Region Independent Media the Coeymans Town Board November 23, approved amendments to the Coeymans Clean Air Law as environmental advocates continued to oppose the changes. Board members voted unanimously to approve the changes. Under the approved amendments, the responsibility of regulating and monitoring air emissions will be taken away from the town and put into the hands of state and federal agencies. Waste can only be burned or processed if the DEC or EPA issue a permit. Those agencies would then be responsible for monitoring and enacting the conditions of the permit. The Clean Air Law restricts the amount of waste that can be burned in the town to 25 tons per day and requires the code enforcement office to monitor air emissions. Supporters of the amendments say the town does not have the expertise or the equipment to monitor emissions and is unable to enforce the law. The federal government passed the national Clean Air Act in 1963, putting the responsibility of monitoring and regulating air emissions into the hands of federal agencies, with some permitting authority by the states, but not local governments, Town Supervisor George McHugh said. A law similar to the Coeymans law adopted in Baltimore, Maryland, recently faced a challenge by another company, Wheelabrator, and was defeated in court. LafargeHolcim put the town on notice in June, calling the law illegal and threatening to challenge it in court. “This illegal law will be overturned,” a company representative wrote. “We intend to vigorously defend our permit and our rights by whatever legal means necessary.” The village of Ravena submitted a letter to the town in July, supporting federal and state oversight of any burning done by the Lafarge plant. Read the full story in The Ravena News-Herald.
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