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Rapp Road landfill expansion moves forward

Much of the land designated for mitigation rests in Guilderland and the City of Albany. The permit allows the expansion to go into Pine Bush wetlands but not the federally protected preserve.

Kelly said after the landfill has reached capacity, the city will be responsible for restoring some of the land the landfill sits on.

He said this is the best long-term solution for a number of reasons.

"This forces the city to go to a very forward-looking process," he said.

Kelly highlighted the conditions the city must comply with. They include the creation of a recycling coordinator funded by the city, the prohibition of dumping recyclable materials, the prohibition of rodent poisons, the improvement and extension of a nearby stream, the explicit prohibition of another expansion, and the ability for the DEC to decrease the maximum tonnage per day dumped at the landfill if the town does not actively mitigate odor issues.

The maximum daily tonnage is 1,050, and the DEC can knock off 200 tons per day each time the city is found to be in non-compliance.

Approximately 5 acres of wetlands will need to be used for the landfill, but Kelly said the benefits outweigh the detractors.

"A multiple of that number of acres will be created," he said. Approximately 20 acres of wetlands will be made.

In addition, $10 per ton of garbage dumped will be put into a separate account for planning. There will be an increase to $1.50 per ton going to the Pine Bush Preserve Commission for stewardship and land acquisition and that number jumps to $2 after three years.

There will be 13 new acres added to the Pine Bush Preserve as well. Kelly said the expansion is expected to last for a minimum of 6.5 years.

Lynne Jackson of Save the Pine Bush said the group is "outraged and horrified" by the DEC decision to grant the permit. Jackson said she suspects somebody is "making a lot of money off this."

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