News article 'Palenville composting business draws fire', then Neglected
April 9, 2017
Here is the Town of Catskill's local newspaper article that was published about the toxic landfill, and the Town of Catskill continuing to neglect it, and their own laws. There was only a few newspaper articles written, then the articles suddenly stopped writing anything on this situation. Again this article is not specific about the type of permit this property has. The business owner Only has a DEC permit to accept leaves, and grass for composting. He has not had any Town or County permits for any of his three businesses he has been operating for nearly 10years now. He also does Not have any permits to operate a solid waste landfill. Previously I had posted the news article for concerned residents to uphold the Greene County Law as well against creating a landfill by dumping toxic solid waste. This is the article written for more concerned residents asking to uphold the Town of Catskill Solid Waste Law as well, and continuing to get the run around from the Town of Catskill. You would think that when a neighbor begins to bring in large tractor trailers dumping toxic construction/demolition debris through the nights, next to your home, and into Protected Wetlands that your local municipality would actually try to protect the local residents, and their families. Instead it has been a constant struggle to get the Town of Catskill, Greene County, the NYS DEC, or even the NYS Health dept., and more agencies to help protect these families.
They have spent all of their time, and energy to protect this toxic landfill to hide their dirty secrets of our State, Town, and County dumping toxic debris from NYC/Long Island, from Hurricane Sandy destruction, and dumping it right next to family homes, and into our NYS/Nationally Protected Wetlands.
Here is the news article link, and the article is also written out below:
Palenville composting business draws fire Town asked to enforce local solid waste law By Jim Planck Columbia-Greene Media | Posted Jul 18, 2015
CATSKILL — Several Palenville residents were at a recent town board meeting to tell the board they believe operations at a neighbor’s composting facility falls under the jurisdiction of the town’s solid waste law, and asked why it was not being enforced.
The composting facility, owned and operated by Frederick A. Edwards III, is a permitted facility by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, although several non-compliance issues regarding a wetland earlier in the year led to an Order on Consent to correct them.
Edwards’ neighbor, Stella Martin, who has expressed concerns about the facility’s operation on the health of her and her family to local, state, and federal agencies and officials, was on hand at the town meeting, and told the board their law requires Edwards to also have a town permit.
“He doesn’t have a sanitary landfill permit,” Martin said, “so why is the Town of Catskill taking no action?”
Catskill Town Supervisor Joseph Leggio said the state already handled the problem, referencing the completed Order on Consent.
“DEC and Mr. Edwards reached an agreement,” Leggio said.
Martin said, however, that there is construction and demolition (C&D) “garbage” on site, some of it piled “10-20 feet high” and that it also “sits on the property line.”
She said it is coming onto the site in trucks which have “no bills of lading,” although required to under town law, she said.
Councilman Gary Carlson said that both DEC and the state Department of Health have “looked into it,” and found all satisfactory.
Leggio noted that everything in government has to be done by a process, typically a law or regulation, adding, ““You tell us we supersede the State of New York. I don’t believe that.”
Code Enforcement Officer Elliot Fishman said that the town code does reference solid waste, but that C&D “is not considered solid waste” under its terms.
He added, however, that under a Greene County local law, if C&D is dumped, a permit would be needed from the county.
“All he has is a composting permit,” said Fishman, and asked Martin whether she had approached the county about their law.
Martin said she did, and had received no satisfaction, again adding, however, that she believes the town law is also applicable.
Leggio asked Town Attorney Michael Smith if town law can supersede state law, and Smith explained that it could not, but that a town is permitted, however, to adopt a local law that is more restrictive than its similar state statute.
“But then it’s our responsibility to enforce it,” Smith added.
Facility neighbor Rowland Hackett said part of the problem is that the trucks coming and going are “still making dust driving over the debris.”
Hackett said that DEC “had him cap it, but every time he drives by” it is on top if it.
Hackett expressed concern for his well, and asked who would pay for it if a problem develops from the underground debris being driven over, adding that when a community landfill is sealed, “it’s not driven over every day,” he said.
Fishman again noted he does not believe the town’s law addresses C&D, but that the county’s law does.
Leggio said that since Fishman had only recently been brought on board as code enforcement officer, he wanted to give him some time to come up to speed on the issue and any pertinent laws, and asked him to check into them.
Leggio also said that letters had earlier been sent to the concerned parties, asking them to put together a time line of what they believe happened, and when, but that the town had not yet received any responses, and asked that those time lines be developed to help the town get a picture of the issue “to sort it out,” he said.
“We’re just trying to work through this,” Leggio said.
Planning Board Chairman Joseph Izzo suggested that the board may want Fishman to formally ask the county if a permit has been issued to Edwards.
Izzo indicated that if Edwards’ original DEC permit was prior to the adoption of the county law, then he is allowed a certain number of tons, in essence under a grandfathering clause.
Izzo said that if, however, it was after the county law adoption, then he believes Edwards would need a permit, and that such requires a significant filing of applicable information, he said, both initially and annually, including “where the debris is coming from.”
“So the Code Enforcement Officer can put the county on notice that we have received a complaint,” said Izzo.
Facility neighbor Robert Pugsley added, “DEC has had Mr. Edwards move the material away from the wetlands. However, the material is still on the property.”
“DEC’s focus is just on moving the stuff,” he said. “The statutes in effect now — those of the town and the county — says he cannot have that type of operation in Greene County.”
Pugsley asked that the board have Smith “look into” the town’s law, adding that he believes Edwards is “operating against the law.”
To reach reporter Jim Planck, call 518-943-2100, ext. 3324, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.