Rapp Road landfill expansion moves forward

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an expansion permit for the Rapp Road Landfill.

Gene Kelly, regional director for the DEC, said Thursday, June 25, that the permit is effective unless the city [of Albany] objects, but said he is unaware of any contentious provisions between the DEC and the city.

City officials have not indicated any objections as of press time.

The Army Corps of Engineers must still grant a second permit for the project to move forward, although one is expected soon, officials stated.

Albany City Mayor Jerry Jennings has been pushing for the expansion in order to deal with waste management issues he said he inherited from pervious administrations.

It calls for a 15-acre expansion of the landfill, Kelly said, but has several "special conditions," including odor controls and a 255-acre restoration in order for the city to be allowed to expand the landfill.

The expansion calls for an additional 15 acres, eight on city-owned land off site, and seven on site. It is expected to keep the landfill operational for seven more years.

Bob Van Amburgh, an executive assistant to the mayor, said the expansion buys time to come up with another trash solution.

"It certainly provides, not only for the city, but the ANSWERS community and the greater Capital Region, an opportunity to study alternatives," Van Amburgh said. "That's really the bottom line."

The Solid Waste Management Plan, formerly known as ANSWERS, or the Albany New York Solid Waste Energy Recovery System, is a group of municipalities that use the landfill and includes Guilderland, Bethlehem and New Scotland.

Guilderland Republican Board members Warren Redlich and Mark Grimm expressed a desire to leave the coalition, stating they did not favor the landfill expansion at a May 27 meeting.

Guilderland Supervisor Ken Runion said he did not support the expansion of the landfill either, but the town had no alternative to dump its trash.

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