Group files motion to join AG's case against Norlite
Rick Karlin is reporting for the Times Union Lights Out Norlite, a group opposing the Norlite aggregate plant and incinerator in Cohoes, is looking to join the Attorney General’s lawsuit against the company. With the assistance of lawyers and students from the Pace University Environmental Litigation Clinic, the group on December 20, filed in state Supreme Court in Albany County, a motion to intervene in the case, alleging the plant has allowed harmful levels of dust and other pollution to escape over the years, an argument similar to the one being made by the AG. Lights Out is also seeking an order that would essentially make the state Department of Environmental Conservation order the plant to cease operations. The DEC is currently reviewing Norlite’s application to renew its air emission permits, but it has also served the company with notices of violations regarding dust emissions. The Lights Out group is also pointing to the year-old Green Amendment as a reason to enforce changes or close the facility. That amendment states that all state residents have a constitutional right to clean air and water as well as a “healthful environment.” The Lights Out group hopes the Green Amendment will add legal heft to their battle against Norlite. “Residents have been forced to breathe their dust and pollution for decades. The smell is often overwhelming and the dust from their massive outdoor piles gets into people’s lungs, their homes, and over everything,” added Mark Dunlea, chair of the Green Education and Legal Fund, which is also a plaintiff in the legal action. The Cohoes Housing Authority recently received permission from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to move residents out of the Saratoga Sites housing project, which is located next door to Norlite. Read more in the Times Union.