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Petersburgh officials table DEC consent order to manage polluted landfill

Feb 18, 2020 1:15 pm
Brendan J. Lyons and Steve Hughes are reporting for the Times Union the Petersburgh Town Board February 17, failed to approve a consent order for the cleanup and permanent closure of a contaminated landfill. The state has allowed the landfill to sit idle for 20 years until high levels of PFOA were detected in 2016. The board's decision to table the consent order could have consequences for Berlin, a neighboring town that shares ownership of the landfill. Under the proposal, the two communities have until February 28 to approve the order with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. In Petersburgh, the agreement was part of a larger arrangement that would have resulted in two payments from companies considered responsible for the contamination: $200,000 from the industrial waste management firm Covanta and $250,000 from Taconic Plastics. Peter Young, the town’s attorney, pushed the board to approve the order. “Now that (the landfill) has PFOA in it, we can’t look away,” he said. The state has indicated it would declare the landfill a Superfund site and seize control of the cleanup if the towns fail to act. Extremely high levels of PFOA and similar chemicals were found after testing wells in the Rensselaer County town. The Berlin-Petersburgh landfill is surrounded by rural residential property. Under the proposal, the town would enter into a consent order with the DEC that would require the installation of a system for collecting the pollutants that are spreading from the site. PFOA exposure has been linked to health problems, including testicular and kidney cancer as well as thyroid disease. Read the full story in the Times Union.
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