Finger Lakes area lawmakers, residents and local business owners were in Albany Tuesday to show their opposition to a proposal to construct a waste-to-energy incinerator at the former Seneca Army Depot in the Town of Romulus. Legislators are proposing bipartisan legislation (A.10277, S.8109) to strengthen local control and participation by giving local municipalities the authority to ultimately decide the fate of this project.
After weeks of calling on the governor and state officials to block this proposal, Gov. Cuomo released a statement Tuesday acknowledging this is an ill-advised proposition that goes against New York’s renewable energy plan.
“This is a critical effort that provides a stronger voice for the people and communities directly impacted by Circular enerG’s incinerator proposal,” said Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb. “As a resident of the Finger Lakes Region, I appreciate the value of our natural resources and recognize that environmental protection is essential to the future success of our area. I’m proud to support this bipartisan bill and urge both the Assembly and Senate to pass it. The governor’s recognition that this project poses a significant threat is encouraging, but we must move forward with a legislative solution that future generations can count on.”
This proposed project, widely opposed by residents due to its negative impact on the health of the community, the environment and the economy, would be located only 3.9 miles from Seneca and Cayuga Lakes and 3,200 feet from a K-12 school. The incinerator would generate pollution and also add an inordinate amount of truck traffic and wear-and-tear on local roads.
“I am proud to be a part of this growing coalition and to express my steadfast opposition to this ill-advised and dangerous proposal which will do absolutely nothing to enhance the quality of life of the residents of the Finger Lakes Region,” said Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning). “This project must be stopped, and I will continue to be a vocal and outspoken critic and ensure the voices of our region are heard loud and clear by Gov. Cuomo and others across our state.”
“As the state Senator representing Seneca County and a significant portion of the Finger Lakes area, I have spoken with countless local citizens, local business owners, and community leaders regarding the proposed incinerator,” said Sen. Pam Helming (R-Canandaigua). “They have made it very clear to me, if this project is approved, it will have a devastating impact on Romulus and the entire region. Allowing a proposed solid waste management facility disguised as a power plant to move forward under the Article X process is unfair to our local communities and existing businesses.”
“I appreciate the opportunity to sponsor this legislation with Sen. Helming and join her in the fight to ensure that our local decision makers are given the authority they should rightfully have on proposals and projects like this one,” Sen. Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats), Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said.
“The Finger Lakes is a peaceful, pristine region that residents and business owners have spent years cultivating. Its flourishing wine and tourism industry has become an economic engine for New York State, contributing nearly $3 billion to the state economy and supporting 60,000 jobs,” said Joseph Campbell, President of Seneca Lake Guardian. “We are here today to urge Gov. Cuomo to reject a proposal that would essentially reverse all the crucial investments the state has made in the region and to call on legislators to support legislation that would give local communities the authority to reject harmful proposals like Circular enerG’s trash incinerator.”