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DEC issues landfill expansion permit to Albany

Department of Environmental Conservation officials confirmed that an expansion permit for the Rapp Road Landfill has been issued to the City of Albany.

Gene Kelly, regional director for the DEC said the permit is effective unless the city objects, but said he is unaware of any contentious provisions between the DEC and the city.

It calls for a 15-acre expansion of the landfill, he 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.

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.

The permit also explicitly prohibits another expansion. Kelly said the expansion is expected to last for a minimum of 6.5 years.

Kelly also responded to questions that the timing of the permit was politically motivated, as Jennings is seeking re-elction.

"We're not playing a role in Albany politics here," he said.

He said the process, more than two years long, is too complex and important to let politics factor into it.

Christopher Hawver, Executive Director for the Pine Bush Preserve Commision said the permit is the best option presented so far, although the commission preferred not to see any expansion.

"The mitigation package is much better than any other proposal than the city has come up with in the past," Hawver said.

Hawver said he is hopeful new technologies will be explored for waste management.

Check back at www.spotlightnews.com and the Wednesday, July 1 issue of the Spotlight Newspaper for an update to the story.

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