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Governor Commissioner

August 09, 2016

Ms. Paula A. Mahan, Supervisor
Town of Colonie
347 Old Niskayuna Road
Latham, NY 12110-2290

Colonie Landfill Site Management and Development Alternatives
US 9 and Cohoes-Crescent Rd, Colonie, NY

Dear Ms. Mahan:

Thank you for continuing to consult with the New York State Historic Preservation Office
(SHPO). We continue to review this undertaking in accordance with Section 106 of the National
Historic Preservation Act of 1966. These comments are those of SHPO and relate only to
Historic/Cultural resources.

The project area (APE) includes the identified resources (attached) that are listed in or eligible
for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

We have reviewed the revised Visual Resource Assessment Report (dated June 3, 2016) for
the Proposed Area 7 Development of the Colonie Landfill. Our review was based on an
assessment of the documentation provided to date and site visits made by SHPO staff to the
project site area. Based on this information it is our opinion that the proposed Area 7
Development will not result in additional adverse visual impacts to resources listed in or eligible
for the Register.

It is our opinion that this existing visual intrusion in the historic landscape associated with the
involved resources was present when they were determined eligible for or listed in the Register.
We found that the landfill expansion and additional elevation and terrain changes across the
Mohawk River from many of these sites will continues to alter their environment and setting.
However, we cannot find that the continued and incremental change that will occur over the next
several years will render the resources no longer eligible for the Register, which is the baseline
requirement associated with a finding of Adverse Effect (36CFR Part 800.16(i)).

We therefore must concur with the findings as noted in Section 5.0, Summary and Discussion of
Potential Visual Impact (pages 32-22) of the VRA: “While the proposed Project will increase the
elevation of the landfill by 87 vertical feet, the visual patterns and composition of the proposed
Project will be consistent with what is already seen.”

Division for Historic Preservation
P.O. Box 189, Waterford, New York 12188-0189 • (518) 237-8643 •
It is the New York SHPO’s opinion that this project, as designed and presented, will have No
Adverse Effect on historic resources in the project area as delineated. However, we are basing
this difficult determination on the project plan which states:

“To minimize the duration and magnitude of operational impacts, landfilling within each
successive vertical lift would be phased in a manner that would screen much of the day-
to-day operations from off-site receptors through the use of berms to be placed along the
perimeter of the lift area. As landfilling is completed, closed areas would be revegetated
with a mix of native grasses and herbaceous vegetation. The intent of this mitigation is to
create the visual appearance of a natural meadow or old-field consistent with the visual
character of the surrounding region. In addition, mowing of the completed landfill would
be limited to maintain this desired visual character.”

We would recommend that these standards be incorporated, if possible, into any permit issued
by your agency to insure the long term commitment to these practices. If there are substantive
changes or unexpected discoveries, consultation with our office should resume.

This effect recommendation is conditioned on our earlier recommendation (Perazio,
16 December 2014, enclosed) that archaeological monitoring should be undertaken in the
vicinity of the Fonda Cemetery and that if any indication of human remains is encountered that
the SHPO Human Remains Discovery Protocol (2015) be implemented.

If you have any questions, I can be reached at (518) 268-2170.


Laurie E. Klenkel
Historic Site Restoration Coordinator
e-mail: via e-mail only

Historic Resources Attachment

Division for Historic Preservation
P.O. Box 189, Waterford, New York 12188-0189 • (518) 237-8643 •
State Historic Preservation Office/
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic
Human Remains Discovery Protocol
(June 2015)

In the event that human remains are encountered during construction or archaeological
investigations, the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) recommends that the
following protocol is implemented:

● At all times human remains must be treated with the utmost dignity and respect. Should
human remains or suspected human remains be encountered, work in the general area of
the discovery will stop immediately and the location will be immediately secured and
protected from damage and disturbance.

• Human remains or associated artifacts will be left in place and not disturbed. No skeletal
remains or materials associated with the remains will be collected or removed until
appropriate consultation has taken place and a plan of action has been developed.

● The SHPO, the appropriate Indian Nations, the involved state and federal agencies, the
coroner, and local law enforcement will be notified immediately. Requirements of the
corner and local law enforcement will be met. A qualified forensic anthropologist,
bioarchaeologist or physical anthropologist will assess the remains in situ to help
determine if the remains are Native American or non-Native American.

● If human remains are determined to be Native American, the remains will be left in place
and protected from further disturbance until a plan for their avoidance or removal can be
generated. Please note that avoidance is the preferred choice of the SHPO and the Indian
Nations. The involved agency will consult SHPO and appropriate Indian Nations to
develop a plan of action that is consistent with the Native American Graves Protection
and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) guidance. Photographs of Native American human
remains and associated funerary objects should not be taken without consulting with the
involved Indian Nations.

● If human remains are determined to be non-Native American, the remains will be left in
place and protected from further disturbance until a plan for their avoidance or removal
can be generated. Please note that avoidance is the preferred choice of the SHPO.
Consultation with the SHPO and other appropriate parties will be required to determine a
plan of action.