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Landfill decision expected soon

The Department of Environmental Conservation is expected to decide the fate of the Rapp Road landfill expansion this week, according to an aide in Mayor Jerry Jennings office.

Bob Van Amburgh, an executive assistant to the mayor, said city officials are expecting a positive outcome, and a decision can be made as early as Thursday.

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 operation for seven more years. The city will also be responsible for restoring 250-acres of Pine Bush habitat, Van Amburgh said.

He 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, and opportunity to study alternatives, Van Amburgh said. "That's really the bottom line."

Rick Georgeson, a spokesperson for the DEC, said he could not comment on if the expansion will be approved but stated a decision is likely to come down late this week or early next week.

Chris Hawver, executive director of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, said although it prefers no expansion of the landfill, the proposed plan is better than previous alternatives that included expanding into the Pine Bush Preserve. This proposed expansion does not included plans to expand into federally protected wetlands.

For an update to the story, check back at www.spotlightnews.com or the Wednesday, July 1, addition of the Spotlight Newspaper.

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