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Cusick: Waste to Energy Facility Cannot be Sited at Fresh Kills

Cusick: Waste to Energy Facility Cannot be Sited at Fresh Kills

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Assemblyman Michael J. Cusick (D-Mid-Island), demands that Mayor Bloomberg follow the spirit and intent of current law and withdraw plans to explore the re-opening of Fresh Kills Landfill as a site for a waste to energy facility.
Assemblyman Michael J. Cusick (D-Mid-Island), demands that Mayor Bloomberg follow the spirit and intent of current law and withdraw plans to explore the re-opening of Fresh Kills Landfill as a site for a waste to energy facility.

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Published by: Staten Island Advance/SILive.com on Apr 03, 2012
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04/03/2012

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THE ASSEMBLY STATE OF NEW YORK ALBANY

MICHAEL CUSICK RD Assemblyman 63 District

CHAIRMAN Committee on Election Law
3

COMMITTEES Governmental Employees Higher Education Mental Health Transportation Veterans’ Affairs Ways and Means

April 3, 2012

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg Office of the Mayor City Hall New York, NY 10007 Dear Mayor Bloomberg: I am writing to you to reiterate my strong opposition to the siting of a waste to energy plant at the former Fresh Kills Landfill. As you are well aware, Fresh Kills was opened in 1947 as a “temporary” landfill but remained open for over fifty years, thereby visiting an environmental disaster on Staten Island. Chapter 107 of the Laws of 1996, sponsored by former Senator John Marchi and former Assemblyman Eric Vitaliano, mandated Fresh Kills’ closure as a landfill. Memories fade and stories change in the re-telling. As Assemblyman Vitaliano’s Chief of Staff at the time, I can assure you that Assemblyman Vitaliano’s concern was not limited to just stopping forever landfill operations at Fresh Kills, but closing Fresh Kills to garbage forever. That is what the Marchi/Vitaliano law was designed to do, why the law was drafted the way it was drafted and what the law does do. The Marchi/Vitaliano law, Chapter 107 of the Laws of 1996, specifically identified the Fresh Kills Landfill as a “landfill” defined by subdivision 12 of section 27-0901 of the Environmental Conservation Law. Chapter 107 did not then order that “landfilling operations” cease at Fresh Kills, which it could easily have done if that had been the sole intent. Chapter 107, instead, went on to order that, after 2002, Fresh Kills shall not “accept solid waste for disposal. For “landfills” defined by ECL section 27-0901 (12), the section explicitly referenced in Chapter 107, the term “disposal” is also an explicitly defined term Subdivision (2) of that very same section, defines “disposal” as the elimination of garbage by, among other methods, “depositing”,“dumping”, and “the thermal destruction of waste…and the burning of such waste as fuel for the purpose of recovering reusable energy.” After 2002, under Chapter 107, the placement of garbage in or on the Fresh Kills Landfill for any purposes is banned, period. This effectively prohibits the placement of any waste to energy facility at the site Therefore, on behalf of the Staten Island Delegation and all of the citizens of Staten Island, I am demanding you immediately stop consideration of any project, including but not limited to, waste to energy facilities that involve transporting garbage in any form to the former Fresh Kills Landfill. Sincerely,

Michael Cusick Member of Assembly

ALBANY OFFICE: Room 727, Legislative Office Building, Albany, New York 12248 •518-455-5526, FAX 518-455-4760 DISTRICT OFFICE: 1911 Richmond Avenue, Staten Island, New York 10314 • 718-370-1384, FAX 718-370-2543

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