Letter to Susan Ackerman, Regional Permit Administrator, NYSDEC Region, Division of Environmental Permits:
Experience has taught us in western Queens County in recent years that waste-by-rail operations come laden with various serious issues. Rail cars leaking contaminates, blow off caused by uncovered rail cars, odors. and loud noises from the operations of the trains at all hours, to name a few. These noisy operations, the pollution from unregulated 1970s locomotives, and the filth from the cars directly and adversely impact adjacent Disadvantaged Communities designated in the draft maps that will be used to implement NYS’ Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
The applicant’s Manual admits that they sop up all the leachate and throw it in the rail car because otherwise, it creates odor problems for the transfer station. This applicant is willing to put some tarp on the gondolas, but that doesn’t address the stinking leachate that is coming out the drains in the bottom of the cars. and it may not contain all odors in the rail car.
My constituents have been subjected to landfill-bound “C&D Residue” filth and odors since this new industry started in 2008. Nothing short of complete containment of odors, blowoff, and leachate is acceptable after a 14-year experiment in waste-by-rail without state standards that protect my constituents.
Before even considering this application by Peconic Environmental Services, all concerned and affected parties should be brought together to resolve any anticipated issues and problems. Those parties must include the state DEC, the LIRR. elected officials, and community representatives. The DEC should only approve the application by Peconic if all anticipated issues with this waste-by-rail application are resolved by the aforementioned interested parties and otherwise be denied.
Thank you in advance for your consideration of my concerns,
Robert F. Holden
Council Member, District 30