May 2, 2012

Press Release From the Rensselaer County Legislature

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                             Contact: Richard Crist
May 2, 2012                                                                                                    270-2880 (cell 928-1920)

Legislators Welcome Progress on Compensation for Nassau Toxic Waste Damage

Members of the Rensselaer County Legislature welcomed progress on providing compensation to towns for damage suffered from years of toxic contamination in the Town of Nassau.

Chairman of the Legislature Martin Reid and Legislators Alex Shannon and Judith Breselor have been supporters of the measure and also had been strong advocates for a comprehensive clean-up of the toxic contamination at the Loeffel site.

A bill sponsored by Senator Roy McDonald would provide up to $80,000 in compensation to municipalities for lost tax revenue due to the toxic contamination. The towns of Nassau and Schodack would likely be eligible for the compensation.

McDonald’s bill was approved today in the State Senate. Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin has also introduced a similar bill.

The Loeffel landfill includes 46 tons of toxic waste, more than the infamous Love Canal site. The contamination has caused property values in the area to decrease, both near the site and in the area around Nassau Lake, where contamination has also been found.
“We are definitely happy to see progress being made on providing compensation to the local governments negatively affected by the stigma of one of the largest toxic waste sites in the country. It’s about time,” said Reid. We are hopeful of approval of this measure by the State Assembly, and for fairness and equal treatment to finally be given to the small towns and taxpayers who have had to bear the costs for this contamination,” added Legislator Alex Shannon, chairman of the Legislature’s Environment Committee.

“The Legislature and a team of local officials will continue to fight for fairness on this issue. We recognize the work by Senator McDonald, Assemblyman McLaughlin and Supervisor David Fleming and look forward to final approval by the state,”  added Legislator Judith Breselor, a member of the Environment Committee.

The approval by the State Senate comes as the County Legislature is prepared to approve easements to enable some waste to be pumped and treated at the Loeffel site. The Legislature is set to approve the easement at the May 10 legislative meeting.
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