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Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)

Town of Colonie Landfill, Area 7 Development


Loudon Road, Town of Colonie, Albany County

Lead Agency:
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Region 4 Headquarters
1130 North Westcott Road
Schenectady, NY 12306

Contact Person:
Angelo Marcuccio, Environmental Analyst 2
Tel. (518) 357-2069

Prepared by:
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Region 4 Headquarters
1130 North Westcott Road
Schenectady, NY 12306

Date of FEIS Acceptance: March 19, 2018


TABLE OF CONTENTS

NARRATIVE / RESPONSIVENESS SUMMARY

APPENDIX A LOCAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT PLANS AND ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTS (ON CD)

APPENDIX B LETTER FROM NEW YORK STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE (SHPO)

APPENDIX C SUPPLEMENTAL GEOTECHNICAL INFORMATION

APPENDIX D SUPPLEMENTAL NOISE EVALUATION

APPENDIX E UPDATED TABLE E-1: ODOR COMPLAINT STATISTICS

APPENDIX F PROPERTY VALUE ANALYSIS

APPENDIX G SUPPLEMENTAL VIEWSHED MAPS

APPENDIX H TRAFFIC ANALYSIS FOR ALTERNATIVE SITE ACCESS (VIDEO ON CD)

APPENDIX I SUPPLEMENTAL AIR PERMIT INFORMATION

APPENDIX J 1.9(g) REPORT

APPENDIX K PUBLIC COMMENTS (ON CD W/EXCEPTION OF INDEX OF PUBLIC COMMENT LETTERS)


NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
Town of Colonie Landfill - Area 7 Development Project
Responsiveness Summary

State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA)

Prepared by: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation


SEQR Lead Agency: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
DEIS Accepted by Lead Agency on: August 16, 2016
FEIS Accepted by Lead Agency on: March 21, 2018

Location of Action: Town of Colonie Landfill


1319 Loudon Road (US Route 9)
Town of Colonie, Albany County, New York

Introduction:

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC, DEC, or Department) as
lead agency pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”) has undertaken a
review of five permit modification applications from the Town of Colonie (“Town”) for the proposed
expansion of its existing landfill at 1319 Loudon Road (US Route 9), Colonie, New York (“landfill”).

The responses provided herein answer questions and comments made by commenters and are
not final decisions. The Department is required pursuant to 6 NYCRR 617.11(a) to afford agencies
and the public a reasonable time period (not less than 10 calendar days) in which to consider the
FEIS before issuing its written findings statement and decision on the proposed action. The
Department must notice this FEIS prior to making findings and a decision on the proposed action.

Proposed Action Summary:

The Area 7 Development (Area 7) is a proposed horizontal and vertical expansion of the existing
municipal solid waste landfill owned by the Town of Colonie and operated by Capital Region Landfills,
Inc. (CRL). The landfill site is bordered to the north and east by the Cohoes-Crescent Road, to the
west by US Route 9, and to the south by Arrowhead Lane and an industrial park.

The Area 7 landfill footprint, as proposed in the Town of Colonie permit application, would comprise
approximately 105 acres of the 212-acre site currently used by the Town for its solid waste
management facilities. Of the 105 acres, approximately 82 acres of the expansion would occur over
previously disturbed/landfilled portions of the landfill site and approximately 23 acres of new landfill
area located mainly to the west of the existing landfill footprint. The proposed vertical expansion would
increase the height of the landfill from the currently permitted height of 430 feet above mean sea level
(amsl) to 517 feet amsl.

The proposed design for Area 7 will consist of approximately 60 acres of a new double composite liner
system including 37 acres constructed over Areas 1-4 of the existing landfill footprint and approximately
23 acres of new landfill footprint. Area 7 will also include approximately 45 acres of vertical landfill
development over the existing Areas 5 and 6.

The Area 7 expansion project would involve the removal of the existing leachate storage lagoons and
replacing them with two new 500,000-gallon storage tanks. The entrance to the facility would be
relocated from Route 9 to Arrowhead Lane.
Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

The project would not increase the daily or annual waste tonnage acceptance rates from the current
level.

Based upon comments received during the public comment period and the Department’s review of the
application record, the Department determined that the proposed vertical expansion needed to be
mitigated to avoid visual impacts to the City of Cohoes and therefore has reduced the final proposed
height by 50 feet to a final permitted elevation of 467 feet amsl. The Department, based on a review of
the record, also determined that the dimensions of the Area 7 landfill footprint should be reduced from
105 acres to approximately 93 acres to provide a minimum distance of 500 feet between the
expansion’s deposited wastes and the Mohawk River rather than 100 feet as proposed in the
application. This increased setback distance further reduces the potential for any impact to the
Mohawk River from the landfill operation and is consistent with the siting criteria contained in the
revised 6 NYCRR Part 360 regulations which became effective November 4, 2017. Although the Area
7 expansion project is not subject to the revised Part 360 regulations, the Department finds a basis in
the record for applying the 500-foot standard to this application.

DEC Jurisdiction:

6 NYCRR Part 360 (Solid Waste Management);


6 NYCRR Part 617 (State Environmental Quality Review Act)
6 NYCRR Part 663 (Freshwater Wetlands);
6 NYCRR Part 200 & 201 (Air Title V)
6 NYCRR Article 15 (Section 401 Water Quality Certification);
Article 17, Titles 7, 8 and Article 70 (NYSDEC SPDES Multi-Sector General Permit for Stormwater
Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity, Sectors L, N and P)

Federal Jurisdiction:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Clean Water Act, Section 404 (Waters of the United States)

SEQRA and Public Participation:

In April of 2014, the DEC initiated SEQRA Lead Agency coordination with other potentially involved
agencies (Town of Colonie, Town of Waterford, Town of Halfmoon, City of Cohoes, NYS Department of
Transportation) who consented to the DEC acting as the SEQR Lead Agency. On May 20, 2014, the
DEC assumed Lead Agency status for the review of the project.

The Department issued a positive declaration of significance pursuant to SEQRA on July 1, 2014, as
revised on August 28, 2014, and determined that a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) must
be prepared to address the potentially significant impacts which might be associated with the
development.

The Department initiated public scoping for the DEIS on August 20, 2014, and the draft scope was
formally accepted as final on November 4, 2014.

The DEIS was prepared by the applicant and received on February 23, 2015. After several revisions,
the DEIS was accepted by the Department for the purpose of public review and comment on August
16, 2016.

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

The Department issued a combined Notice of Complete Application/Notice of Completion of


DEIS/Notice of Legislative Hearing on August 16, 2016. The first Legislative Hearing was held on
September 20, 2016, with the close of public comments on October 7, 2016. Requests were made for
a second legislative hearing, which was conducted on October 25, 2016. The close of the comment
period was extended until November 1, 2016.

During the course of the technical review of the DEIS the Department determined that three issues
discussed in the DEIS needed additional supporting documentation. The Department requested and
received additional information from the applicant related to the permitting of the proposed leachate
storage tanks that were initially thought to have been exempt from permitting requirements; additional
analysis of the portion of the landfill site that contains alluvial subsoils; and further refinement of the
boundary of the area within the existing landfill that was once used for the disposal of hazardous
wastes.

Upon review of the supplemental information provided by the applicant, the Department determined
that this new information warranted additional public review and comment. On May 25, 2017, the
Department issued a Supplemental Notice of Complete Application identifying the 3 above-mentioned
issues with closing date for comments of July 3, 2017.

All the public comments that were received by the Department are addressed in this Responsiveness
Summary.

Responsiveness Summary:

The comments and responses contained herein pertain to the proposed design contained in the original
Area 7 permit application. The final design of the facility would be significantly altered, as the
Department is requiring a 500-foot setback for waste deposition from the Mohawk River, which is 400
feet further back from the original design of a 100-foot set back. The final design would also be altered
to have a final elevation of 467 feet above mean sea level (amsl), which is 50 feet lower than the
original proposal of 517 feet amsl. The Department’s responses answer the issues raised by the
commenters on the original design, and do not take into account the Department required design
changes.

The purpose of this Responsiveness Summary is to provide a summary of the comments received from
the public during the public comment period and to provide the Departments response to them. The
comments help to assist the lead agency in assessing all the potential adverse environmental impacts
associated with the proposed action and to weigh and balance these impacts with social, economic and
other essential considerations prior to issuing its decision on the proposed expansion.

The majority of the comments were received during the public comment period which commenced on
August 16, 2016, and during the two Legislative Hearings that were conducted on September 20, 2016
and October 25, 2016. The close of the initial comment period was November 1, 2016. The DEC
issued a Supplemental Notice of Complete Application on May 25, 2017 and additional comments were
received during the public comment period that commenced May 31, 2017, (ENB publication date) and
ended on July 3, 2017.

In preparing this Responsiveness Summary, the comments that were received were first organized into
categories so that substantively similar comments could be addressed together. Similar comments
were combined, and in cases where they are lengthy they have been summarized and addressed with

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

a summary response. A complete listing of all the commenters is attached to this Responsiveness
Summary. The comment letters and transcripts of the two public hearings are included as Appendix K.

Comments and Responses by Topic are listed by page location in this document:

Page
Number Topic

4 Alternatives
8 Siting Requirements
19 Local Solid Waste Management Plan
22 Engineering
42 Ecological
45 Water Resources
57 Noise
64 Odors/Air
74 Traffic
76 Visual
95 Health
96 Community Character
97 Property Values
98 General/Miscellaneous Topics
102 Index of Names of Persons Who Submitted Comments

Alternatives

Several comments received stated that the alternatives analysis in the DEIS was insufficient or flawed
because it did not consider a sufficient number or range of alternatives; and of the ones considered, the
analysis was inadequate. Another commenter mentioned past discussions that the landfill site might
become the site for a solid waste transfer station. (Commenters 105, 87, 34, 15, 117, 46, 56, 60, 52,
112, 2, 53, 36, 28, 121, 90, 95, 107, 102, 99, 84)

Response:

Alternate Sites:

The DEIS contained a consideration and analysis of several alternatives to achieve the objectives of
the applicant other than Area 7. Among the alternatives studied included alternative sites, alternative
technologies and no action.

The Town of Colonie commenced development of the landfill at its present site in 1967 with the
acquisition of the land for the current site. The Town continued to acquire additional lands and to
construct additional capacity at the landfill since that time.

Alternative sites for the proposed Area 7 were considered based on a past siting study conducted by
the Town which is included the Town’s Solid Waste Management Plan dated July 1992, and updated
and deemed acceptable by the Department in July 2017.

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

The study followed a four-phase siting process for selecting sites that met state and local requirements
for a landfill facility while minimizing economic, environmental and social considerations. The four
phases included an exclusionary phase that identified unsuitable areas; a primary suitability phase to
identify candidate areas from potentially available areas; an evaluation phase in which each candidate
site was numerically rated relative to other candidate sites; and a site evaluation phase to verify the
suitability of the best 2 to 4 sites and choose a single preferred site by conducting on-site field
evaluations. Five top ranked sites were selected in the study for further evaluation. The highest ranked
site was the existing landfill site and that is where the first site investigation was performed. After that
investigation, the existing landfill area was selected as the preferred alternative.

There are potential economic inefficiencies associated with an alternative site. The Town would be
required to close and monitor not one landfill location, but two. A new landfill would be subject to new
potential impacts associated with landfill operations. All support operations, for example, leachate
storage and scales, would have to be replicated at a new site as well, and there would be impacts from
these operations in addition to those from the landfill site. A second site would also need staffing and
offices, which will result in increased direct and indirect costs.

New landfill and location:

There would be environmental impacts associated with the siting of new project in another location,
even if these impacts are mitigated to the extent practicable. By continuing to utilize the capacity of the
existing Town resource, the Town will avoid creating potential new impacts in a location that does not
now have a landfill.

The alternative of seeking a new location for a landfill is not a viable option for the Town or the region
for economic, social and environmental reasons. If the Town were to close its existing landfill, there
would not be adequate capacity elsewhere in the Capital Region to dispose of the waste that is
currently being received by the Town. The Albany landfill is anticipated to close within the next several
years. To extend site life, the City has decreased the amount of waste accepted, has implemented
reduced operating hours, and restricted waste streams. The Finch landfill could not accept the waste
now disposed at the Town landfill because the increased waste would cause the landfill to exceed the
permitted waste acceptance rates in its Part 360 permit. The Oneida-Herkimer County landfill, with few
exceptions, will only accept waste generated from within those two counties.

In the near future, with the anticipated closure of the Albany landfill, if the Town landfill were to close,
tipping fees at landfills outside of the region would be expected to rise, in part to force waste to be
distributed among New York State facilities that have the capacity to receive additional waste or to
facilities outside of the state. In-state facilities raise tipping fees in an effort to redirect waste away
when waste acceptance rates approach permitted levels. Waste markets tend to treat generators most
favorably in those regions that ensure waste disposal capacity and plan accordingly. For these
reasons, a lack of capacity means not only that increased transportation costs will be borne by the
residents and others using the landfill, but also the public will likely also pay for increased tipping fees.

In the 2011 Solid Waste Facility Operating Agreement between the Town of Colonie and Capital
Region Landfills (CRL), there is a provision that prior to closure of the landfill, the operator will construct
a transfer station at the Solid Waste Facility that is as large as, or larger than the transfer station
located at the facility at that time. This provision continues in effect. The Town does not desire to close
the landfill at this time as explained in the Alternatives section; however, when the existing landfill is
closed, the requirement under the Operating Agreement to construct a transfer station, unless
amended at some future time, will still exist.

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

In summary, the level of investment in time and public funds to search for and develop an alternative
site would be unreasonable and inefficient given the potential to continue to develop the existing
landfill’s capacity. Municipalities and public authorities have expended millions of dollars over many
years to permit facilities on new land and the site investigation and permit approval process can take
many years which would not be reasonable under these circumstances where a site and infrastructure
already exist. Using an existing landfill to maximize its potential would be preferable to developing a
green area.

No Action:

The no action alternative would be expected to result in waste exportation from the current service
area. The waste exportation would be at a higher cost alternative than the proposed Area 7 and one
that would create additional environmental impacts such as increased generation of greenhouse gases
from long-distance waste transportation.

This no action alternative analysis implicitly assumes the need for additional transfer station capacity to
handle the waste that would otherwise be disposed at the landfill. The existing transfer capacity at the
landfill could potentially manage waste within the planning unit, however, would significantly impact the
cost of waste management through increased transportation costs, tipping fees at other facilities and
increased greenhouse gas emissions (transportation). The transfer capacity could not, however,
manage the amount of waste currently handled by the Colonie Landfill, and would therefore, restrict
additional waste streams, thereby limiting disposal options for the region further, and further increasing
costs regionally for disposal based on tipping fees and transportation to facilities outside the region.

No other landfills or other solid waste disposal facilities within the service area have the permitted
capacity to accept the annual waste tonnage currently disposed at the Town of Colonie Landfill
(255,840 tons per year). As explained above in the response to the general comments regarding
alternatives, the closest landfills, the Finch Waste Co. landfill in Saratoga Co., the Albany landfill and
the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority’s landfill in Ava could not absorb the waste
tonnage accepted annually at the Colonie landfill. With no local landfill or other waste disposal
alternative, a no action alternative would involve receipt of waste at the Town of Colonie transfer station
(or a new transfer station at this location) and the transfer of that waste tonnage to one of the
commercial landfills in western New York.

The transportation cost to ship and dispose of this amount of waste in western New York in dollars as
well as additional costs in the consumption of natural resources (i.e., fuel) and additional air emissions
from the trucking (primarily greenhouses gases) would be significant, as outlined below. If Area 7 is not
permitted and waste exportation is pursued as the waste management alternative, these costs would
be borne by the residents, businesses and consumers within the current service area of the Town of
Colonie Landfill.

The estimated trucking unit costs are based on data from the American Transportation Research
Institute for transportation within the northeast United States (ATRI, An Analysis of the Operational
Costs of Trucking: 2015 Update, September 2015). These costs, which are estimated at $1.793 per
mile, include fuel, truck ownership and operating costs and driver wages and benefits. Based on
transfer distances of approximately 224 miles, (one-way, on average to five selected in-state
commercial landfills, including High Acres in Fairport, NY, Seneca Meadows in Seneca Falls, NY,
Ontario County Landfill, Ontario County, NY Modern Landfill, Model City, NY and DANC Landfill,
Rodman NY) and truck loaded net weights of 25 tons, the incremental cost to truck 255,840 tons per
year of waste to alternative western New York landfills would be more than $8 million annually.

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

255,840 tons per year/25 tons per truck load = 10,234 truckloads per year
10,234 truckloads x 224 miles x 2 (round trip) = 4,584,832 miles per year
4,584,832 miles per year x $1.793 per mile = $8,220,604 per year

Over a 20-year operating life of Area 7, the trucking costs would equal more than $160 million.
Tipping fees would also likely rise as explained above in the response to the general comments
regarding alternatives.

The estimated trucking fuel consumption uses an average of 6 miles per gallon, which is typical of long-
haul waste transfer vehicles. Based on transfer distances of approximately 224 miles (one-way, on
average to five selected in-state commercial landfills) and truck loaded net weights of 25 tons, the
diesel fuel consumed to truck 255,840 tons per year of waste to alternative western New York landfills
would be more than 750,000 gallons annually. Over a 20-year operating life of Area 7, the additional
fuel consumption from trucking would be more than 15 million gallons of diesel fuel.

Pursuant to ECL 27-0103, the NYSDEC is required to prepare and update the New York State Solid
Waste Management Plan. The report titled "Beyond Waste – A Sustainable Materials Management
Strategy for New York State" is the updated (12/27/10) version of the State Plan. This document may
be found on the NYSDEC website at: https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/41831.html

In that document the Department recognized that the 1988 Solid Waste Management Act enables local
governments to create planning units to manage materials regionally. Further, the report states that in
order to foster more consistent program implementation, all local governments should be required to be
members of a planning unit, and a Local Solid Waste Management Plan (LSWMP) should be required
for each planning unit. This is the approach taken by the Town of Colonie.

The Town of Colonie would need to charge back to its residents and other customers of solid waste
services the costs for increased tipping fees and more than $8 million a year in transportation costs for
an alternative.

Significant public resources have been invested in the existing facility over the years and the site has
available space to support additional landfill capacity that can be used to continue to manage regional
waste in the existing facility while avoiding the costs and impacts associated with a new landfill.

Alternatives, including alternative sites, smaller scale or magnitude, and/or alternative waste
technologies, were investigated in the EIS, and in detail sufficient for comparison. The EIS
demonstrates that other alternatives, including other sites, were considered and evaluated by the Town
in this SEQRA review or as part of prior analyses occurring during the many years the existing landfill
has been reviewed, developed, and in operation.

An applicant is required to make a reasonable effort to study alternatives. However, the applicant is not
required to identify or discuss every conceivable alternative. The EIS discusses a reasonable range of
alternatives. The review of alternatives was sufficient and detailed to make a reasonable comparative
assessment of alternatives. Therefore, the applicant has fully complied with SEQRA with respect to
evaluating alternatives. Based on the analysis, further development of the existing landfill site is
considered the best alternative for continued solid waste disposal for the Planning Unit.

Comment:

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

According to the Town of Colonie website, a committee known as SWAP (Solid Waste Alternative
Planning) exists and has studied ways of extending the life of the landfill without expanding it.
(Commenter 117)

Response:

Regarding the evaluation of alternate solid waste treatment systems, in 2009 the Town issued a
Request for Proposal (RFP) for Alternative Solid Waste Treatment Systems (ASWTS) that could be
developed to reduce the quantity of waste being disposed at the Landfill or other waste disposal
facilities and thereby extend the life of the Town Landfill and enable the Town Solid Waste
Management Facility to continue to manage the solid waste generated within the Planning Unit beyond
the projected life of the Town Landfill. In response to the RFP, the Town received two responses
which proposed export of Town waste using the Town’s transfer Station to conserve disposal capacity
as well as a range of options for facilities that included several emerging technologies. Ultimately, the
Town determined that none of these proposals were viable for the Town and the Planning Unit because
the economics were unfavorable, the projects presented a financial risk for the Town, and the new
technologies proposed as options were not feasible for the planning unit.

Siting Requirements

The final design of the facility will be significantly altered, as the Department is requiring a 500-foot
setback for waste deposition from the Mohawk River, which is 400 feet further back from the original
design of a 100-foot set back from the river. The final design will also be altered to have a final
elevation of 467 feet above mean sea level (amsl), which is 50 feet lower than the original proposal of
517 feet amsl.

Comment:

Comments were received regarding the existence of an Inactive Hazardous Site at the landfill facility,
its precise location and the appropriateness of placing wastes over that area. Concerns were
expressed that information regarding the full nature and extent of the prior hazardous waste disposal
that occurred there was incomplete and whether further investigations or remedial actions will be
required in the future.

Concerns were also raised about an incomplete evaluation of the potential for groundwater
contamination from this area, and that Part 360 siting requirements are not satisfied because historic
operations and proposed new landfill components are situated less than 100 feet from the Mohawk
River. (Commenters 36, 51, 90)

Response:

Area 7 will be to the north and west of the existing operational landfill areas (Areas 5 and 6) with much
of its footprint overlying areas previously used for waste disposal. A portion of the existing landfill and
waste disposal area is listed as a Class 3 Inactive Hazardous Waste Site (Class 3 Site). It was the
Town’s understanding, based on previous landfill permit applications, and issued permits that the extent
of the Class 3 Inactive Hazardous waste site was limited to the area of the site identified as the
Unnamed Area – which is located at the northernmost portion of the site and outside of Area 7.
However, based on further review the Department determined that the Class 3 Site (NYSDEC Registry
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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

Site Code 401004) actually encompasses portions of the Area 1 landfill in addition to the Unnamed
Area. The Class 3 classification is assigned to a site at which contamination does not presently, and is
not reasonably foreseeable to constitute a significant threat to public health or the environment.

Under the permit application requirements of 6 NYCRR 360-1.9(g)(1), if a facility is proposed to be


located at an inactive hazardous waste disposal site classified as Class 1, 2, 3, or 4, the permit
application must include a report [referred to as a 1.9(g) report]. The applicant submitted a 1.9(g)
Report dated April 2017 (included in Appendix J of this document) which the Department has
determined meets the regulatory requirements of 6 NYCRR 360-1.9(g). Specifically, the Area 7
Development will not impair the monitorability of the Class 3 site or any supplemental or alternative
remedial activity, if deemed necessary.

The regulations [6 NYCRR 360-2.12(c)(1)(i)] state, “…except as provided in subparagraph (ii) of this
paragraph, no new landfill and no lateral or vertical expansion of an existing landfill may be constructed
over primary water supply aquifers, principal aquifers, within a public water supply stabilized cone of
depression area, or within a minimum distance of 100 feet to surface waters that are actively used as
sources of municipal supply”. Subsection (iii) of the same section states, “…The required horizontal
separation between deposited solid waste, and primary water supply aquifers, principal aquifers, public
water supply stabilized cone of depression areas, or surface waters that are actively used as sources of
municipal supply must be sufficient.” The limits of the deposited waste are greater than 100 feet from
the Mohawk River and the landfill components that have been proposed are a similar distance as the
existing landfill components from the river.

Furthermore, the expansion of sites with known contamination is allowed under the regulations as long
as monitorability can be demonstrated. Current design criteria and regulations have proven that solid
waste disposal can be conducted in an environmentally sound manner (there are no documented
releases/failures associated with facilities constructed with double composite liners in accordance with
current regulations). The development meets the regulatory minimum offsets for the limit of waste
placement (i.e., 100-feet from the Mohawk River or property lines). Because monitorability has been
demonstrated, this expansion over preexisting contamination could be approved.

Comment:

Another comment was made in reference to Part 360 Section 360-2.12(a)(1)(vi) siting requirements
stating that the upper 20 feet of unconsolidated material beneath the liner system must be
predominantly low permeability and that the Part 360 application did not provide the supporting
documentation required to allow less than 20 feet of unconsolidated deposits beneath the facility.
(Commenter 90)

Response:

6 NYCRR 360-2.12(a)(1)(vi) is not applicable. Section 360-2.12(a)(2) is applicable to an existing


landfill active on or after November 4, 1992 operating under and in compliance with a current Part 360
permit or order on consent, the Department may allow lateral or vertical expansions if the site has less
than 20 feet of unconsolidated deposits provided that:

(i) the proposed landfill expansion is identified in the local solid waste management plan approved by
the department under Subpart 360-15 of this Part as a component of the integrated solid waste
management system for the planning unit in which the facility is located and the proposed landfill
expansion must be consistent with the goals and objectives of such plan;

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(ii) the unconsolidated deposits underlying the proposed landfill exist or are constructed to be 10 feet
or greater in thickness as measured from the base of the constructed liner system;

(iii) the applicant demonstrates that the expansion site will have no significant adverse impact on
human health, safety, or welfare, the environment, or natural resources; and

(iv) the site complies with subparagraphs (1)(i)-(iv) of this subdivision.


Area 7 meets the above requirements to allow expansion with less than 20 feet of unconsolidated
deposits. The site has been identified in the Local Solid Waste Management Plan (LSWMP). The
Engineering Report describes how the development will have 10 feet of unconsolidated deposits below
the liner. The DEIS describes how the development will have no significant adverse impact on human
health, safety, or welfare, the environment, or natural resources, and Sections 4.1 and 4.2 of the
Engineering Report describe how the proposed development complies with Section 2.12(a)(1)(i)-(iv).

Comment:

The documents submitted in support of this application are incomplete and do not satisfy all
requirements for a new application submitted on behalf of a municipality. (Commenters 36, 90, 121)
For example, the application does not include:
• A Site Selection Study was performed pursuant to 6 NYCRR Part 360-2.12.
• A demonstration that the expansion area fully satisfies the siting prohibitions and preferred siting
criteria of 6 NYCRR Part 360-1.7 and 2.12.
In fact, Landfill documents previously prepared with respect to the existing facility indicate large areas
of the property where unlined waste fill areas are in direct contact with bedrock, areas where waste is
saturated with groundwater, insufficient separation from bedrock and lack of required thickness of
natural low permeability soils.

Additional comments suggest that Part 360 Application Form 8) Pursuant to 6 NYCRR Part 360-1.8(e),
the scope of the proposed development requires that NYSDEC treat this matter as a new application.
The Area 7 permit application seeks to substantially increase the height, lateral dimensions, disposal
capacity and operational life of the Landfill. (Commenters 36, 90,121)

Response:

In treating the Town’s application as a “new application” under Part 621, the Department has the
discretion to determine the information it needs to make a permitting decision. Under Part 621, the
Department is not required to consider the expansion application as an initial application for a new solid
waste management facility and has not done so in this case. Treating an expansion application as a
new application under Part 621 means that the Department may require clarification or supplementation
of existing information, or additional information based on the proposed activity. A site selection study
is not required because the expansion meets the requirements of paragraph Section 2.12(a) (1) or (2).
Additionally, Section 2.12(b)(2) is not applicable because the development is identified in the Local
Solid Waste Management Plan (LSWMP). However, a site selection study was performed and is
included in the 1993 LSWMP.

Comment:

A comment referenced the Part 360-2.12(c)(2) regarding floodplains and that the project would involve
filling of an area within the 100-year floodplain. (Commenter 90)

Response:
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The referenced regulations allow development within a flood plain provided the Owners or Operators of
new landfill units demonstrate that the unit will not restrict the flow of the 100-year flood, reduce the
temporary water storage capacity of the floodplain, or result in washout of solid waste so as to pose a
hazard to human health and the environment. The Engineering Report describes the relatively small
limits and impacts of the floodplain encroachment by an access road (not waste placement), the turf
reinforcement mat that will be used to stabilized soils exposed to the 100-year flood, and the process
by which the encroachment is allowed and permitted by the Town, acting as the flood plain
administrator. The expansion would satisfy these criteria.

Comment:

A commenter stated that the proposed horizontal expansion will place landfill components to within 100
feet of the Mohawk River. (Commenter 90)

Response:

The limits of deposited solid waste will not be within 100' of the Mohawk River as per regulations
6 NYCRR 360-2.12(c)(1)(i).

Comment:

Part 360 regulations require implementation of corrective measures if groundwater monitoring confirms
a release of contamination. Crescent Road is only about 50 feet downgradient from some of the most
critical downgradient monitoring wells where such a release would be detected, and the Mohawk River
is only another 30 to 40 feet downgradient of Crescent Road. The very limited distance between the
wells and the landfill, the road and the wells, and the road and the River creates a significant constraint
on the type and effectiveness of potential corrective measures that could be implemented in the event
of a detected release of contamination. (Commenter 90)

Response:

Comment noted.

Comment:

Siting Analysis -360-2.12(c)(7) Historic seismic evaluation of the waste mass and liner systems were
based on a maximum final elevation of 430 feet. The proposed expansion will substantially increase the
waste disposal capacity and maximum height. Will the Town certify that the underlying liner system,
designed for a much smaller facility, will be capable of achieving the required factor of safety during
seismic events? The proposed expansion will result in the limit of waste, and critical Landfill
infrastructure, being much closer to the property boundary. NYSDEC should require a demonstration
that corrective measures can be implemented within the Town’s property at all perimeter locations.
(Commenter 90)

Response:

The maximum height of the landfill was taken into account in the stability analysis described in Section
5.10 of the Engineering Report and Attachment 7. As shown in the Engineering Report Attachment and
the supplemental geotechnical information (Appendix C of the FEIS), the computed factors of safety for
the slope stability analyses with seismic loading and events, and the height of the landfill, taken into
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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

consideration are in compliance with the regulations. Appendix C of the FEIS also shows two different
designs (ground improvement and geogrid reinforcement) that are located within the limits of the landfill
property. This analysis is even more conservative given the Department’s determination to limit the
height of the landfill to a maximum elevation of 467 feet amsl, which is lower than the 517- foot
elevation that was proposed in the application.

Comment:

Site Selection Study - No Site Selection Study was performed as mandated by Part 360. Further, the
existing Landfill site does not possess the characteristics listed under 6 NYCRR 360-2.12(a). In
particular, the site does not satisfy 6 NYCRR 360-2.12(a)(1)(vi). The application also fails to indicate
that the conditions under 6 NYCRR 360-2.12(a)(2) are satisfied. In fact, the application clearly
demonstrates that the minimum 10 feet thickness of unconsolidated deposits do not exist at some
locations within the Area 7 Development. The site does not provide the required separation to bedrock
or seasonal high groundwater table, nor does it provide the requisite thickness of low permeability soil
below the waste. Drilling logs indicate waste in contact with bedrock at some locations and geologic
cross sections presented in the DEIS and the Engineering Report show only two or three feet of soil
separating waste material from the underlying bedrock in the central portion of the existing landfill,
contrary to Part 360 siting requirements. (Commenter 90)

Response:

As described in Section 4.2 of the Engineering Report, Area 7 will have (10) feet of separation between
the liner and bedrock.

Comment:

Both the description and the conclusion stated above are taken from the 1992 “Phase II Investigation”
by URS Consultants, Inc. Specifically, the conclusion that the groundwater contamination is “indicative
of solid waste and oil spill debris” is based upon data and analysis that is 25 years old and has not
been updated or critically assessed in the context of the instant matter. (Commenter 36)

Response:

In 1992, the Inactive Hazardous Waste Site was reclassified from Class 2a to Class 3 based on the
Phase II investigation performed by URS Consultants. The URS report indicated that, “Since the site
does not appear to present an immediate threat to life or health, no Interim Remedial Measures (IRM)
are needed.” Nonetheless, the NYSDEC required the remediation of leachate seeps, capping of the
site, and ongoing groundwater quality monitoring. A Class 3 site as defined by the NYSDEC is one that
does not present a significant threat to the environment or public health. This classification continues to
be supported by water quality data generated by the ongoing monitoring activities at the site that has
not shown evidence of the volatile organic compounds reportedly disposed of within the Class 3 Site.
Rather, the groundwater monitoring data is consistent with typical MSW.

Comment:

The 1.9(g) Report proposes to leave the Class 3 site unremediated and subject to no further
investigation with the suggestion that the “alternative remedial scenarios” and “supplemental remedial
actions could be undertaken” should they be “deemed necessary.” This suggestion rests upon the
unproven supposition in that the “85 feet of space between the Area 7 Development and the edge of
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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

the Class 3 Site closest to Cohoes-Crescent Road…is sufficient space for additional remedial actions.
(Commenter 36)

Response:

The statement that the Class 3 site is unremediated is incorrect. Remedial actions have previously
been completed at the direction of NYSDEC and have included elimination of leachate seeps, and
capping. Further, it is not the intent of the 6 NYCRR 360-1.9(g) (“1.9(g) Report”) to provide an
assessment as to whether remedial actions are required. Rather, the objective of the 1.9(g) Report is
to determine whether or not construction and operation of the proposed facility will interfere with
potential, ongoing, or completed remedial programs at the Class 3 Site, nor expose the environment or
public health to a significantly increased threat of harm. The report concludes, that the presence of 85
feet of space between the property line and the limits of the development is adequate for potential
remedial activities if required in the future. Typical groundwater contamination remediation for this type
of site could potentially consist of a barrier wall. There are many variables to these types of systems,
including type of barrier and drainage; however, the installed systems are relatively thin – typically less
than 3 feet wide and in some cases as thin as a steel sheet. The equipment for installation of these
systems is typically 15 to 20 feet wide and the construction support zone is typically less than 50 feet
wide.

The status of the historic hazardous waste site has been evaluated by NYSDEC. The Department
required that remedial actions be completed, and with completion of the required remedial actions and
based upon the results of remedial investigations, the Department designated it as a Class 3 Site and
required on-going groundwater monitoring, which continues to be performed. Additionally, a report
addressing the requirements of 6 NYCRR 360-1.9(g) demonstrates that Area 7 would neither interfere
significantly with any potential, ongoing, or completed remedial program at the Site, nor expose the
environment or public health to a significantly increased threat of harm was prepared and is included as
part of this FEIS (Appendix J). The report also demonstrates that the proposed Area 7 Development
can be monitored independently from the Class 3 Site (i.e., separate monitorability). Based on the
assessment presented in the report, Area 7 would neither interfere with potential, ongoing, or
completed remedial programs at the Class 3 Site, nor expose the environment or public health to a
significantly increased threat of harm.

Comment:

At a basic level the Report minimizes the potential impacts to any future remedial program and the
impacts to the groundwater and the Mohawk River of putting millions of tons of waste covering the
portions of the inactive hazardous site and upgradient areas. Basic issues are omitted for evaluation
regarding significant increased threat of harm to the environment or public health. Even the original
DEIS has firmly established at this point that groundwater under the active landfill portion as well as the
inactive hazardous waste site portion of the landfill is contaminated above standards, all the subsurface
water bearing units below the landfill and hazardous waste site flow into the Mohawk River. On top of
this, the additional studies recommended in the 1992 URS Phase II Investigation Report the magnitude
and potential impacts to the Mohawk River were never conducted. (Commenter 51)

Response:

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

The commenter does not identify the nature of the “threats” in this comment other than generically as
relating to the environment and health and on-going groundwater monitoring shows no evidence of
hazardous constituents in groundwater. Further, the Department previously required the completion of
remedial actions and that on-going water quality monitoring continue; and has determined that the
Applicant’s 1.9(g) report is complete and meets the requirements set forth in 6 NYCRR 360-1.9(g).

Comment:

The original DEIS Complete Application didn’t acknowledge that AREA 1 was part of the inactive
hazardous waste site. This 1.9 (g) Report acknowledges the northern portion, roughly a third, of the
Landfill expansion, is listed as a Class 3 Inactive Hazardous Waste. The disposal plan as outlined in
this 1.9 (g) Report clearly provides for soil and debris mixed with documented hazardous wastes
(numerous F wastes) excavated from the hazardous waste site to be illegally disposed of into the active
portions of the Colonie Landfill. Soil and debris contaminated with listed wastes are still considered a
hazardous waste under the Contained in Rule. On top of that, the PID screening method proposed for
excavated soils would also not detect the chromium hydroxide sludge (F006) hazardous waste
documented to have been disposed of at the site (4300 tons), thereby providing for that also to be
illegally disposed of into the active portion of the Colonie landfill. (Commenter 51)

Response:

It was the Town’s understanding, based on previous landfill permit applications, and issued permits,
that the areal extent of the Class 3 inactive hazardous waste site was limited to the Unnamed area. The
1.9(g) Report (Appendix J to the FEIS) clearly outlines the limits of the Class 3 site in relation to the site
and Area 7. The disposal plan in the 1.9(g) has been updated to indicate that the waste will be
screened with a PID for VOCs and only municipal solid waste with PID readings below background
conditions will be disposed of within the active landfill. Industrial waste (e.g. sludge’s, electroplating
waste), regardless of whether there are PID readings above background, or not, will either be regraded
and maintained within the footprint of the existing historical waste or staged for testing and disposal at a
facility authorized to receive such waste.

Comment:

As stated in the Part 360-1.9(g)(1) Report, “sufficient information must be provided to allow the
NYSDEC to determine whether the proposed activity would interfere significantly with any potential,
ongoing, or completed inactive hazardous waste disposal site remedial program, or would expose the
environment or public health to a significantly increased threat of harm. The information presented in
the draft report fails to achieve either of the stated goals. (Commenter 51)

Response:

The Department has determined that the Applicant’s 1.9(g) report is complete and meets the
requirements set forth in Part 360-1.9(g).

Comment:

2.1.1 Overburden Geology. The Report states that both the glaciolacustrine units and the till units vary
in thickness across the site ranging from various thickness to not present. These units could potentially
provide some containment. However, areas where they are not present provide contamination
pathways to the bedrock and River. The alluvium are assumed to be hydraulically connected to the
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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

River. URS documented that protective geologic layers were discontinuous in the area of the
hazardous waste site and the alluvial deposits also appear to be a factor related to the hazardous site.
These are issues are critically related to potential impacts to potential remedial programs and increased
risks to public health and the environment. (Commenter 51)

Response:

Comment noted. The above comment restates information in the URS Consultants, Inc. report titled,
“Engineering Investigations at Inactive Hazardous Waste Sites in the State of New York – Phase II
Investigation – Town of Colonie Landfill”, dated April 1992 that has been taken into account relative to
any potential future remedial actions that may be required.

Comment:

The Report goes into detail that the small alluvium area does not meet the definition of a primary or
principal aquifer. However, it is not entirely clear the alluvium deposit is small and portions of the site
are documented to be included in mapped area of the Schenectady-Niskayuna Sole Source Aquifer.
(Commenter 51)

Response:

The alluvial deposits and a discussion of why they do not meet the definition of a Primary Principal
aquifer are addressed in the 1.9(g) Report, in Sections 2.5 and 4.2.2 of the Site Investigation Report
and in response to prior comments. As documented in NYSDEC’s Technical & Operational Guidance
Series (TOGS) 2.1.3 publication on primary and principal aquifer determinations, and discussed in the
1.9(g) Report, Primary Principal aquifers are identified based on specific criteria, for example, the
presence of five to ten square miles of contiguous area, highly permeable geologic deposits averaging
at least 20 feet thick, with some locations at least 50 feet thick, sustainable yields from individual wells
of 50 gallons per minute of more from sizable areas (two square miles or greater) throughout the
source aquifer. The alluvium deposits on the Site do not meet these criteria. Additionally, sole source
aquifer mapping referenced by the commenter is based on large-scale geologic interpretation that is a
rough estimate of the lateral extent of alluvium deposits that must be confirmed by site, or area-specific,
investigation. An area-specific investigation at this site indicates that the alluvium deposits do not meet
the stated criteria for a Principal Primary aquifer.

Comment:

Groundwater samples were not collected from Bedrock Wells for evaluation in the Environmental
Assessment Report due to the reason stated on Page 4-10 that “these locations are identified in the
currently approved EMSAP as contingency sampling locations”. This is an issue pertinent to both
potential remedial programs and increased threat. (Commenter 51)

Response:

The Department does not always require the sampling of bedrock wells in investigative sampling
programs and did not require such sampling at this site. Bedrock wells are, however, often approved
as contingency sampling locations. As discussed in the Site Investigation Report, and specifically
within Sections 4.6.1 and 4.6.2, the Lower Bedrock water bearing zone is not within the Critical
Stratigraphic Section. This conclusion was based on potentiometric heads between the various water-
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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

bearing zones and the more than two orders of magnitude difference in hydraulic conductivity between
the Intermediate water-bearing zone and the Lower Bedrock water bearing zone. Accordingly, the
horizontal flow paths within the Intermediate water bearing zone are the focus for environmental
monitoring. Well-established hydrogeologic principles support a technical decision not to include the
sampling of Lower Bedrock wells for site investigation purposes.

Comment:

Section 2.1.3 of the 1.9 (g)report - Recent Fill Materials. These sections reference the 2016 SIR with a
limited investigation scope. Notably waste was encountered in almost all the borings including MW-
2013-4D and MW 2013-2D. There is no discussion regarding Test Pits or logs of such. (Commenter
51)

Response:

Test pit logs for test pits performed in 2013 are included in the SIR. Test pits performed in 2014 only
generated material thickness information and logs were not prepared; however; the generated
information can be seen on Figure 1-2 of the 1.9(g) report. The description of the recent fill materials
includes the information generated from the test pits. Additionally, it should be noted the intent of the
test pits was to identify the thickness of the overburden soils and not excavate through or into the
waste.

Comment:

This section goes on to indicate “although this area does not include and engineered baseliner it is
underlain by natural clay deposits” The 1992 URS investigation indicated (page 4-38) that “Borings
done at the site (Phase II and earlier work for new landfill) showed that lacustrine silts and clays do not
extend all the way up the drumlin, and are also missing beneath CW-30 and CW-40 in the northern
portion of the site….. Basically, the evidence doesn’t exist in part because the investigation to
determine potential impacts to the Mohawk River as recommended by URS in 1992 was never
conducted. Although URS did not recommend an IRM…. (Commenter 51)

Response:

In 1992, the Inactive Hazardous Waste Site was reclassified from Class 2a to Class 3 based on the
Phase II investigation performed by URS Consultants. The URS report indicated that, “Since the site
does not appear to present an immediate threat to life or health, no Interim Remedial Measures (IRM)
are needed.” A Class 3 site as defined by the NYSDEC as one that does not present a significant threat
to the environment or public health. This classification continues to be supported by water quality data
generated by the ongoing monitoring activities at the site. The data have not shown evidence of the
disposal of wastes containing volatile organic compounds reportedly disposed of within the Class 3
Site. Rather, the groundwater monitoring data is consistent with data from sites where typical MSW
has been disposed.

Comment:

The Figure 1-2 (Attachment 2) is inaccurate in that the shaded blue area indicated as the haz site does
not represent the southern boundaries of the hazardous waste site. The dashed area identified as
“Cruickshank Approximate boundary does. This can be confirmed by comparing the Cruickshank
boundaries to the 1992 URS Inactive Hazardous Waste Report for the study Area Figure 1-2. This area
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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

is clearly labeled on the Figure 1-2 as the “Closed landfill Area - Area Filled 1970s-1983”. That year
range includes the documented hazardous waste disposal. The Remediation Boundaries as indicated
on the 1.9 (g) Report (Attachment 3) more than conveniently terminate at areas of cap already overlain
onto the Area 1 southernmost portion. When the 1.9 (g) figure 1-2 is compared to Figure 1- 3 of the
Draft EIS titled Proposed Final grading, it is quite obvious that fill of up to almost 500 amsl will be
covering the southern portion of the inactive hazardous waste site. Approximately two hundred and fifty
(250) feet of elevation would be filled with waste. The northern portion of the hazardous waste site is to
be overlain with an additional 100 feet of waste, as well as the North Pond. This massive weight can
only serve to squeeze out loose alluvial sols and documented contamination underground in the
direction of the Mohawk River. (Commenter 51)

Response:

The source of the shaded area of the map is identified as the limits of the Class 3 Site and is based on
NYSDEC database information on the limits of inactive hazardous waste sites. Irrespective of the
inconsistent boundaries identified in historical documents, the conclusions within the 1.9(g) Report are
unchanged. These conclusions include:
• The construction and operation of Area 7 will not have a significant impact on the existing
groundwater flow system of the Site.
• Construction of the Area 7 Development liner system over portions of the Class 3 Site will reduce
infiltration in this area and represents a significant improvement to the function of the existing Class
3 Site cap.
• Construction of Area 7 will have predictable effects on the overburden groundwater flow system.
These effects would be limited in aerial extent.
• Construction of the development area will not interfere with existing or potential future remedial
actions for the Class 3 Site.
• Existing or potential groundwater impacts attributable to the existing Class 3 Site or proposed
development area can be detected and differentiated using a combination of techniques proven to
be effective under the current Environmental Monitoring Plan (EMP).

With respect to the “squeeze out” of contamination and soils, it is assumed that this is referring to
liquefaction, which is specifically addressed within the supplemental geotechnical analysis (Appendix C
of the FEIS) which concludes that the underlying soils can be made stable and can support the
overlying infrastructure., While vertical consolidation will occur with loading, the soils will not be
squeezed out as suggested by the commenter.

Comment:

…the disposal plan calls for screening waste excavated from the hazardous waste site using a PID and
TCLP testing. If the “waste does not meet or exceed toxicity characteristics, it will be disposed of on-
site in the active Town of Colonie Landfill.” Following this disposal plan will potentially result in illegal
hazardous waste disposal in the Town of Colonie landfill. This is a hazardous waste site with
DOCUMENTED disposal of hazardous waste spent solvents and electroplating wastes including Part
373 hazardous waste codes F001, F002, F003, F005, F006 & D001. Those wastes classified as
hazardous include waste chromium hydroxide sludge (F006), trichloroethylene (F001), accumulated
paint in 55-gallon drums (D001), and solvent-based phenolic and urethane sludges (D001). Based
upon the Contained in Rule, contaminated debris and media containing these contaminates may not be
disposed of based solely upon TCLP testing. Additionally, screening excavated materials for
contamination with a PID will also not detect types of wastes such as electroplating wastes.
(Commenter 51)

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

Response:

The disposal plan in the 1.9(g) Report (Appendix J of the FEIS) has been revised to indicate that the
waste will be screened with a PID for VOCs and only municipal solid waste with PID readings below
background conditions will be disposed of within the active landfill. Industrial waste (e.g. sludge’s,
electroplating waste), regardless of whether there are PID readings above background, or not, will
either be regraded and maintained within the footprint of the existing historical waste or staged for
testing and disposal at a facility authorized to receive such waste.

Comment:

It is disputable that the reduced infiltration benefits will outweigh the negative impacts of placing millions
of tons onto the inactive hazardous site and upgradient areas. (Commenter 51)

Response:

Comment noted.

Comment:

Taking an inactive hazardous waste site that currently is classified a Class 3 site due to undocumented
exposure pathways and handling it in this way in this environment will expose public health and the
environment to unnecessary risks with the almost certainty that it will become a Class 2 site as a threat
to public health and the environment. (Commenter 51)

Response:

The inactive Class 3 Site has been investigated, remedial actions completed, and on-going
groundwater monitoring is required by the NYSDEC. Based on these actions and data, the NYSDEC
reclassified the site to Class 3. The commenter provides no technical basis to support the stated
assumptions. Covering the historical waste with a double composite liner that will prevent infiltration, is
beneficial.

Comment:

The section concludes without any justification that “the Area 7 Development will not impact the ability
to perform these remedial actions in the future” This site is already severely constrained by wetlands
and also public roadways directly adjoining the landfill on two sides. On the east, only the two-lane
Cohoes Crescent Road with marginal shoulders is between the landfill and the Mohawk River. This will
be further compounded by a massive retaining wall located along the Cohoes Crescent Road further
impeding implementation of potential remedial actions. (Commenter 51)

Response:

As noted in the comment, much of the site constraints already exist and will not change with
development. Further, construction of the retaining wall would not preclude remedial actions such as
installation of pumping wells.

Comment:

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

Missing in the Report as required by NYCRR Part 360 1.9. The Regulations clearly require the
following information for all applications under Part 360 -1.9 which we as the Reviewing Impacted
Public have determined is critical, necessary and pertinent for our review. (Commenter 51)

Response:

The Department has determined that the Applicant’s 1.9(g) report is complete. The 1.9(g) Report is not
considered a separate application. The operational (including contingency) plans submitted for Area 7
are appropriate for the construction proposed in the 1.9(g) Report.

Comment:

The applicant fails to provide verified boundaries of the hazardous waste area, and the applicant also
fails to provide verified boundaries of the Unnamed Area in the application. The lack of a descriptive or
visual representation of verified boundaries means the separation to new proposed facilities is
unknown. (Commenter 90)

Response:

It was Town’s initial understanding that the areal extent of the Class 3 inactive hazardous waste site
was limited to the Unnamed Area. The 1.9(g) Report (Appendix J to this FEIS) identifies the limits of
the Class 3 Site. These limits are based upon NYS GIS inactive hazardous waste site information,
which appear to be consistent with historical reports and landfill plans, and include the Unnamed Area
and a portion of Area 1.

Note: This comment was addressed in a previous response.

Comment:

Inactive Hazardous Waste Site 1b) It is also noted there is insufficient separation distances between
the Area 7 Development and the unnamed area, to allow for implementation of corrective measures if
and when such should be necessary in the future. Such is inconsistent with the provisions of 6 NYCRR
360-2.12(c)(5). (Commenter 90)

Response:

Additional characterization of the Unnamed Area is outside the scope of the proposed action.
The report also demonstrates that the monitorability of the proposed Area 7 Development will continue
to be distinguishable from that of the Class 3 Site.

Given the above, the 1.9(g) report addresses the requirements of 6 NYCRR Part 360-1.9(g) by
demonstrating that Area 7 will neither interfere significantly with any potential, ongoing, or completed
remedial program at the Site, nor expose the environment or public health to a significantly increased
threat of harm.

Note: This comment was addressed in a previous response.

Local Solid Waste Management Plan


Page 19 of 105
Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

Comment 1:

Environmental Impact - Local Solid Waste Management Planning - The applicant has not demonstrated
consistency with Local Solid Waste Management Planning.

Comment 2:

Environmental Impact - Proposed Size - The facility is much larger than is needed to satisfy the long-
term disposal needs of the Local Planning Unit. In 2015, approximately 90% of the MSW placed in the
Landfill came from sources outside the Planning Unit. The Town of Colonie Landfill is receiving waste
from communities which do not have current LSWMP or that have completed CRAs. Pursuant to 6
NYCRR Part 360 municipally-owned facilities must not accept waste from jurisdictions that do not have
current approved LSWMP. Except and until Planning is complete for all jurisdictions in the Landfill
watershed, there is not demonstrated need for a facility of this size or duration.

Comment 3:

The Part 360 application is made on behalf of a municipality as defined by 6 NYCRR Part 360-1.2(a)
(21). Pursuant to 6 NYCRR Part 360-1.8(g), a Local Solid Waste Management Plan (LSWMP) must be
in effect. According to NYSDEC’s website, the existing Town of Colonie LSWMP expired on December
31, 2015. NYSDEC indicates the Town’s LSWMP is “under review” however, a copy of the proposed
update is not included with the application or DEIS.

Comment 4:

In the document they referenced the landfill is designed as the solid waste solution for the planning unit.
The planning unit includes the Town of Colonie, the Village of Menands, the Village of Colonie and the
City of Watervliet. This landfill expansion goes beyond the solid waste needs of those four
communities that make up the planning unit.

Comment 5:

An increase of 132 acres, providing a 20 additional years of landfill usage, is too large, in my opinion,
and should be modified to expand more vertically if possible, in current areas that are already in use.
Additional tonnage must be coming from sources outside of the Town of Colonie.

Comment 6:

Local Solid Waste Management Planning - the application does not demonstrate a rigorous exploration
of alternatives to landfilling (e.g. Alternative Solid Waste Management Systems) as anticipated by the
State and Local SWMPs and mandated by 6 NYCRR Part 617-9(b)(5)(v) and 40 CFR Part 1502.14(a).
(Commenters 53, 73, 90, 117, 121)

Response:
Comments noted. See alternatives discussion.

Comment:

Page 20 of 105
Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

Part 360 Application Form 11) 6 NYCRR Part 360-1.9(f) requires that facilities operated on behalf of a
municipality not accept waste from communities that have not prepared a Comprehensive Recycling
Analysis (CRA). The application materials do not provide any demonstration that the waste received at
the facility will be limited only to communities that have completed a CRA. (Commenter 90)

Response:

This condition is in the existing permit and would be in the Area 7 modified permit. Additionally,
6 NYCRR Part 360 provides that a landfill cannot accept wastes from Planning Units within New York
State that do not have a Comprehensive Recycling Analysis and approved Solid Waste Management
Plan. The NYSDEC is currently working with Planning Units across the State, including the Town of
Colonie, to ensure that there are active Local Solid Waste Management Plans in place.

Comments:

Environmental Impact - Local Solid Waste Management Planning -However, the phrase, “regional,
merchant solid waste management facility” is found in the LSWMP in the following limited context:

The Town Solid Waste facility operated as a regional, merchant solid waste management facility over
the 2007 and 2008 period. We [i.e. the Town] have also attempted to work with other municipalities to
develop mutually beneficial solid waste management agreements to minimize the Town’s exposure to
the private sector profit taking motives.

The Part 360 application fails to demonstrate how the size and scope of the proposed Area 7
expansion is consistent with historical efforts to minimize the Town’s exposure to private sector profit
taking motives, among other goals and objectives discussed in the LSWMP. It appears to be the
opposite with the Town now partnered with a private for-profit venture through the operating lease.
(Commenters 90, 117)

Response:

Comments noted.

Comment:

What this region needs to do is to develop a long-range solid waste management plan but until that
plan is in place, we cannot afford to close both of our regional solid waste landfills. (Commenter 115)

Response:

Comment noted.

Comment:

Several commenters provided comments related to the anticipated life of the landfill and its closure
around 2018. (Commenters 15, 100, 140, 96, 136, 101, 56, 60, 109, 33, 111, 106, 125, 128, 82, 58,
39, 37, 112, 127, 123, 23, 76, 12, 102, 133, 99, 3, 84)

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

Response:

Area 7 is consistent with both the Town’s 2007-2008 Solid Waste Management Plan Update as well as
the 2015 Draft Local Solid Waste Management Plan (LSWMP) submitted to the NYSDEC for review
and comment in December 2015. Area 7 is consistent with the goals and objectives of the originally
approved SWMP (as updated in 2007-2008) as well as the 2015 Draft LSWMP. More specifically the
LSWMP indicated that to continue to provide reliable and reasonably priced solid waste management
facilities and services, for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), C&D, and non-hazardous industrial waste, for
the planning period until 2025, the capacity of the Colonie Landfill would need to be increased through
construction and operation of Area 7 at the existing landfill site.

Comment:

EIS should include plans for what happens after the landfill is closed. (Commenter 52)

Response:

The post-closure monitoring of the landfill is discussed in Attachment 6 to the Engineering Report
(Conceptual Closure/Post-closure Plan). The operations, inspections and specific testing that will be
provided during the 30-year post-closure monitoring period are described in detail in this plan.

Engineering

A number of comments received were highly technical and questioned the engineering and scientific
aspects of the design and engineering feasibility of the project. The comments and responses
contained herein pertain to the proposed design contained in the original Area 7 permit application.
The final design of the facility will be significantly altered, as the Department is requiring a 500-foot
setback for waste deposition from the Mohawk River, which is 400 feet further back from the original
design of a 100-foot set back. The final design will also be altered to have a final elevation of 467 feet
above mean sea level (amsl), which is 50 feet lower than the original proposal of 517 feet amsl. The
Department’s responses answer the issues raised by the commenters on the original design, and do
not take into account the Department required design changes.

Comment:

Upon completion of the review it is recommended that the following issues be addressed and or
corrected. Once these are addressed, complete set of revised documents should be subjected to a
peer review. (Commenter 44)

Response:

The permit application process and procedures do not require peer review of submitted documents.
The requirement that the application materials be prepared by a NYS licensed professional engineer(s)
coupled with the review of those materials by NYSDEC licensed professional engineers and other
NYSDEC professional staff are deemed satisfactory and sufficient and therefore, additional peer review
is neither required nor necessary.

Comment:

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

The stress history and normalized soil engineering properties, SHANSEP, used for undrained analysis
of the lacustrine clay and silt, is used for undrained analysis of the lacustrine clay and silt. It is common
knowledge that the SHANSEP approach is not applicable for use with over consolidated clays. The
report assumes that the clay and silt present at this site are normally consolidated. Based on over 30
years of experience in the Hudson River Valley, there is clear evidence that the local clay and silt is
over consolidated. (Commenter 44)

Response:

The permit application has demonstrated that Area 7 will meet 6 NYCRR Part 360 stability
requirements. The stress history and normalized soil engineering properties (SHANSEP) approach is
described in the Engineering Report Section 5.10.2.3 - Stability, Short-term Analysis Versus Long-term
Analysis and the related calculations are contained in Attachment 7.

Subsurface explorations were made and representative soil samples collected for analytical testing.
The consolidation testing on the recovered samples indicated that the silt and clay lacustrine soils were
normally to slightly over-consolidated. Several technical references (including Slope Stability and
Stabilization Methods, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Abramson, Lee; Lee, Thomas; Sharma, Sunil; and
Boyce, Glen and The Undrained Shear Strength of Overconsolidated Clays, Strozyk, Joanna; and
Tankiewicz, Matylda, Procedia Engineering, December 2014) indicate that the SHANSEP evaluation is
not limited to normally consolidated deposits. Therefore, because the soils at the site are normally to
slightly over consolidated, the SHANSEP procedure is acceptable and appropriate for use for the
deposits encountered at the site. The technical references have been included in Appendix C of the
FEIS.

Comment:

In the section of the Engineering Report addressing Base Liner Strain, there is a Ruling from the Al Turi
Landfill Expansion in 1988, regarding differential settlement. This ruling is not introduced and its impact
on the Colonie application is not clearly presented or discussed. (Comment 44)

Response:

The Al Turi landfill ruling was introduced and included in the base liner strain calculation supporting
documentation in the Engineering Report Attachment 7 - Baseliner Strain. As the current New York
State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) regulations do not identify a maximum
strain, the Al Turi ruling indicated that strains of less than 5% are acceptable to NYSDEC technical
staff. Thus, the strain on the membrane at the site, computed to be approximately 1.5%, is consistent
with NYSDEC and accepted practice guidelines.

Comment:

Since a landfill is a heterogeneous mass, differential settlement is a serious potential problem,


especially for old landfills before modern day spreading and compaction techniques were employed.
Differential settlement should be fully examined in this design because of the large additional load (85
feet vertical expansion) over areas that were designed for only the loading to the then maximum
permitted height of the landfill. (Commenter 44)

Response:

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

Differential settlement, which can occur as a result of the heterogeneous composition of the underlying
waste mass, was addressed in settlement computations and tables included in the supporting
documentation in the Engineering Report Attachment 7 – Settlement, which describes how the design
accommodates differential settlement. Settlement was computed along eleven (11) section lines based
on the existing deposit thicknesses and in-situ conditions, and proposed landfill grading. The
subsurface conditions along the settlement section lines include the underlying natural soils as well as
the in-place thickness of the existing landfill mass. The elevations along the sections are of the existing
landfill and the proposed grades at closure, thus reflecting the varying thickness of both the old and
new waste masses that might impact settlement amounts.

Differential settlement was accounted for throughout the design specific to baseliner strain. In order to
evaluate differential settlement, the liner strain computations adjust the magnitude of the settlement
such that the end of the section at the higher elevation is assigned 50% of computed settlement and
the end at the lower elevation is based on 100% of settlement. Essentially this procedure (using the
50%/100% assumptions) conservatively calculates strain by assuming one end of the liner only moves
by half of its projected vertical amount, which generates a larger strain value in the liner. This
accommodates differential settlement along the selected sections and demonstrates compliance with
the requirements of Part 360 regulations.

Comment:

Literature citations are not provided for many graphs and tables, which are copied into the report that
are used in important calculations. Additionally, there are 5 pages of supporting documentation
including pages 296 to 299 of a book, with no citation of where it was copied and page 101 of another
uncited document. The Engineering Report and supporting documentation are difficult to follow
(Commenter 44)

Response:

Appropriate citations to references for the calculations are included and shown on the calculation cover
sheet in Attachment 7 of the Engineering Report. Reference information has been added to the pages
in the updated Supplemental Geotechnical Information (included as Appendix C of this FEIS). The
Engineering Report meets the requirements of 6 NYCRR Part 360.

Comment:

The boring logs are incomplete and practically useless to a geotechnical engineer to design the
engineering aspects of the landfill expansion. The soil descriptions presented on the logs are minimal
and do not include moisture conditions of the samples nor do the logs include the water table
encountered during drilling. (Commenter 44)

Response:

Subsurface exploration logs for the site are from multiple investigations by multiple entities over time
and are included in the Site Investigation Report (SIR) contained in Attachment 2 of the Engineering
Report. Subsurface conditions for engineering design are contained in Section 5.10.1 of the
Engineering Report. The subsurface exploration logs, while made by multiple entities, are generally
consistent with respect to the soil deposits encountered at the site and suitable for development of the
stratigraphic sections. Subsurface exploration logs for explorations made for this expansion under
Cornerstone’s observation were made at locations selected to supplement existing data and provide
information for design.
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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

The moisture conditions of samples and water levels during drilling are not consistently noted on the
logs. However, notations of moisture content may be subjective, and water levels recorded in the
explorations may not be representative of actual subsurface water levels and were therefore not
included on the logs. Subsurface water levels reported in the SIR and used in the selection of soil
design properties were based on the groundwater level readings obtained from the extensive
monitoring network installed at the site. Water levels obtained from the monitoring wells are more
representative and reliable.

The subsurface exploration logs contain information consistent with accepted practice, including
detailed information about the exploration location (coordinates and ground surface elevation) and
sampling (depths, blow counts, and amount recovered). In addition, the logs contain a visual
description of the recovered soils and identify the soil consistent with the Unified Soil Classification
System (USCS). The appropriate geologic description is also shown.

Comment:

The log for boring B-2013-9 shows a loose to medium dense layer of alluvial sand at a depth of 30 to
50 feet. There is a similar layer in B-2013-10 at a depth of 34 to 37 feet. These layers may be
liquefiable if saturated. The liquefaction issue was not addressed in the documents reviewed.
Liquefaction needs to be addressed. There are potentially liquefiable zones of the alluvial sand. A
complete review of the liquefaction potential of these borings and any others from previous expansions
should be conducted. (Commenter 44)

Response:

An Alluvial deposit was noted and described in the SIR. The location, lateral extent and thickness of
the alluvial deposit was also presented in the SIR, and it is noted that the deposit was generally located
at the north end of the site. The areal extent of the deposit, based on the subsurface explorations, is
generally outside the landfill boundary, but is situated beneath the north perimeter berm and the
stormwater management facility. A small area of alluvial deposit was encountered along the east side
of the landfill. Based on the subsurface explorations, this deposit is isolated and limited in lateral
extent, and is located at elevations significantly above the alluvial deposit at the north end of the site.
In addition, the subsurface explorations do not suggest that the deposit is connected to the northern
alluvial deposit. The subsurface exploration logs and records were reviewed to further evaluate the
nature of the alluvial and determine if the deposit may be subject to potential liquefaction. This review
indicates that the alluvial deposit at the north site of the site may be subject to liquefaction. The
settlement potentially resulting from liquefaction was calculated, and is estimated to be approximately
16-in. beneath the stormwater facility and 4-in. beneath the perimeter berm. This potential settlement
can be accommodated by the berm, liner and stormwater facility design and the settlement would not
adversely affect the performance of these facilities. These calculations are described in more detail in
Section 2 of this document and the calculations are included in the appendices to this document.
The global stability in the northern portion of the landfill along Section DE (as identified in Attachment 7
of the Engineering Report) was reviewed and computed in accordance with Resource Conservation
and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle D Seismic Design Guidance for Municipal Landfill Facilities. This
calculation is included with the supplemental geotechnical information provided in Appendix C. The
analyses indicated a computed FS < 1.0 using the residual strength properties for the alluvial deposit.
Therefore, remedial measures such as cement or chemical grouting, or stone columns, would be
designed to provide additional resistance. The remediation system design would be completed along
with the final design of the mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) embankment. The Town’s application
provides permit level drawings and calculations for the proposed facility that have adequate detail to
Page 25 of 105
Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

ascertain whether a facility can be constructed in a manner that is capable of compliance with the
applicable requirements of the regulations. Providing additional design detail at the construction
documentation phase is consistent with the Department’s process for development and construction.
Before construction commences, construction documentation and final design plans stamped by a NY
Professional Engineer will be prepared and submitted to the Department.

Soil improvement measures will be undertaken in the Sand deposit at the perimeter berm location.
Based on the site and subsurface conditions, there are multiple soil improvement methods that are
technically suitable, ranging from methods that modify/improve the properties of the sand, to methods
that provide reinforcement to other soils such that liquefaction does not impact the landfill. As part of
the design presented in Appendix C, soil improvement measures are modeled using compaction or jet
grouting of the sand located below the perimeter embankment along the north side of the landfill, and
soil reinforcement installed at the top of the existing soils. While soil improvement measures have been
analyzed using these specific technologies, it should be noted that other technologies can also achieve
the required degree of stabilization and may also be appropriate. As such, with different installation
techniques the constructed condition may ultimately have different properties and dimensions than
those described herein. If different installation techniques are chosen by the applicant, those
techniques would be included within the construction drawings for the applicable cell and supported by
factor of safety calculations submitted with the drawings.

A summary table of the stability analyses, for the post-improvement soil conditions is provided in Table
2, and the stability supporting documentation are included in the liquefaction analysis made part of
Appendix C of the FEIS. The approximate limits of the improvement zones are shown on Figures 1 and
2 of the referenced appendix.

Comment:

The quantity of lab testing is marginal for a project of this magnitude. (Commenter 44)

Response:

Comment noted.

Comment:

There is no testing of the landfill materials, instead published data is used for parameters to be used in
design. There is no attempt to characterize the engineering behavior of the materials comprising the
original unlined landfill. All previous landfill materials are grouped together and one set of parameters
used for calculations. The design of the liner and leachate collection system is based on assumed
characteristics for the underlying old Town dump. The characteristics need to be confirmed due to the
significant loading and structures to be constructed for the Area 7 Development. (Commenter 4, 90)

Response:

The 6 NYCRR Part 360 regulations do not require analysis of the existing waste materials in order to
determine the waste properties used as input parameters for engineering calculations. Calculations
were conducted using published data and meet 6 NYCRR Part 360 standards.

Comment:

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

There is no attempt to predict how much the additional load will affect the previous expansions which
were designed with a maximum height of waste at or near the current height. In the cover sheet of the
Pipe Loading section it is stated that “Area 2, 3, 4 leachate collection systems are no longer fully
functional – reportedly cannot be cleaned out”. There is no consideration given to what the proposed
additional loading will have on this partially functioning system. What happens if it fails? How would
one know where it has failed and how does one repair it? The thought of relying on a partially plugged
drainage piping that Cornerstone responded that it will continue to seep like a French drain is not good
engineering. The placement of 100 feet or more of waste over this potential problem makes future
repair a daunting task. (Commenter 44)

Response:

The pipe loading calculations included as part of Appendix C of the FEIS, demonstrate that under the
greatest thickness of proposed fill the maximum overburden pressure is less than the critical failure
pressures for the existing pipe, and therefore meet Part 360 requirements.

Comment 1:

The original “dump” is unlined. What effect will the additional load have on the old waste? It will
certainly settle and in doing so will develop excess pore water pressure that will be dissipated by lateral
and/or vertical drainage downward into underlying strata or weathered shale bedrock, and ultimately
into the nearby Mohawk River. (Commenter 44)

Comment 2:

Historic, unlined areas of the fill underlying the proposed Area 7 development are variable. Historic fill
areas may be subject to localized settlement. (Commenter 90)

Response:

The effect of the additional load and the subsequent settlement is addressed and accounted for in the
design as described in Section 5.10.3 of the Engineering Report. The settlement of the existing waste
would not significantly impact Area 7.

The subsurface soils, rock, and groundwater conditions are presented and summarized in the Site
Investigation Report (SIR) that it is included in the Engineering Report as Attachment 2. As noted in
the SIR, the groundwater at this site includes the upper, intermediate, and lower water bearing zones.
The upper water bearing zone includes the surficial glacial tills, lacustrine silt and clay, and the isolated
alluvium deposit while the intermediate water bearing zone is the located at the glacial soil bedrock
contact. Groundwater flows are predominantly vertical through the overburden in the upper water
bearing zone with horizontal flows occurring in the intermediate water bearing zone. Any potential
releases would be expected to migrate horizontally within these zones and not in the lower water
bearing zone located in the bedrock.

The overliner for the new construction on top of old waste would reduce inflow into the underlying
natural soils. As noted the additional loading may temporarily increase pore water pressures in these
deposits, which are at a depth well below the proposed liner systems. It is not anticipated that either
the overliner or increased loading will significantly alter the composition of the groundwater. Thus,
Page 27 of 105
Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

while the overliner would ultimately reduce the volume of potentially contaminated water, there may be
in the interim, some minor additional flow in the upper water bearing zone due to the additional load.

There are no documented impacts to the Mohawk River under current conditions and, as discussed in
Section 2.5.3 of the DEIS, the proposed development of Area 7 is expected to reduce infiltration of
precipitation through large portions of the historic waste from an estimated 100 gal/acre/day to nearly
zero. The project would reduce the risk to groundwater that subsequently discharges to the Mohawk
River.

Comment:

The small drawings in the report and attachments are not legible for evaluating slopes, cuts, and fill
depths. A more thorough review of these issues can be done when these plans are available in full
size. (Commenter 44)

Response:

The Engineering Drawings in the report (11”x17”) were provided as full-size drawings to the
Department and the Town of Waterford. Full size versions were also made available at the Town of
Colonie and can be printed at any size from www.townofcolonielandfill.com.

Comment:

The bearing capacity section shows Figure 3, Global Stabilization Plan. This has a handwritten note
stating Section FF was used for analysis. This section is drawn so that it is not perpendicular to the
final contour lines, so that slope is somewhat flatter (about 3.25H to 1V) than the 3H to 1V at which the
final cover will be inclined. The results of the analysis are non-conservatively skewed. The analysis
should be redone through a section with the 3H to 1V slope inclination. (Commenter 44)

Response:

Bearing capacity was addressed in the Engineering Report Section 5.10.4 -Bearing Capacity, and the
calculations were included in Attachment 7 of the Engineering Report. The analysis was performed at
the location with the greatest waste thickness over the most subsidence-prone soils (‘soft’
Glaciolacustrine clay). The calculation method employed in the Bearing Capacity Calculation in
Attachment 7 indicates that bearing capacity failure is primarily dependent on soil properties, while
landfill height has a smaller influence on the bearing capacity factor of safety. Thus, an acceptable
factor of safety in areas with low-strength soils indicates that waste over stronger soils should also have
an acceptable factor of safety. The proposed waste thickness at the point chosen for analysis was
approximately 288 feet. The slope of the section does not factor into this calculation, since only the
maximum load is considered, and thus the analysis does not need to be recomputed at a 3H:1V slope.

Comment:

The calculated factor of safety for the undrained bearing capacity is 2.02 and stated to be greater than
2.0 so noted OK. Since the undrained case will actually take several years to enact the full load the

Page 28 of 105
Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

drained case will probably rule the design. What is interesting is that the factor of safety is so close to
the required minimum. (Commenter 44)

Response:

As indicated by the commenter, the regulatory standard has been met. The bearing capacity
calculations are described in detail in the Engineering Report Section 5.10.4 – Bearing Capacity and
the calculations in Attachment 7. As shown in the calculations, the computed factor of safety for both
drained and undrained conditions exceed the regulatory standards of 6 NYCRR 360-2.7(b)(6) which
require a minimum factor of safety of 2.00.

It is noted that a Factor of Safety is used to evaluate variability in loads, material properties, methods of
analysis, and construction methods, and quantify consequences for potential failures. Factors of Safety
are generally established in accordance with accepted engineering practice and attempt to assign a
numerical value to risk. For the landfill, NYSDEC has established that a Factor of Safety equal to or
greater than 2.00 is required, and the design, as noted meets this requirement.
Comment:

The settlement calculations show ten (10) cross sections that are denoted critical for analysis. There is
no explanation as to why the chosen sections are critical. This should be explained. (Commenter 44)

Response:

Information about the selection of the eleven (11) settlement cross sections is provided in the
Engineering Report Section 5.10.3 – Settlement, and the calculations are included in Attachment 7 of
the Engineering Report. As noted in the Engineering Report, settlement sections 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10
were selected as they represent the longest path along the cell floors and thus show that post-
settlement slopes along the floor of Area 7 will meet regulatory criteria as the post-settlement slope is
equal to or greater than 2.0%. The remaining sections, 1, 3, 5.1, 7, and 9 were chosen the along
leachate collection pipes and thus show that post-settlement slopes along the pipes will meet regulatory
requirements. These sections, were selected because they are the longest sections and along the
leachate collection pipe locations.

Comment:

In my experience, calculated settlements can be incorrect especially when dealing with a


heterogeneous material such as landfill and the local clay and silt soils. In my opinion, there is too little
room for error and the predicted post settlement slope should be at least 50% higher than the required
1 or 2 percent, a 1.5 factor of safety. The time frame of secondary settlement is reported to be 30
years after closure. However, the landfill will continue to settle for many decades after 30 years.
(Commenter 44)

Response:

As indicated by the comment, the post-settlement slopes meet the regulatory standards and
requirements as stated in 6 NYCRR 360 2.13(i)(2) and 2.13(m)(2). Furthermore, the settlement
calculations were completed using a Factor of Safety of 2.0 which is more conservative than the 1.5
suggested in the comment.

Comment:

Page 29 of 105
Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

The Global Stability section provides nine cross sections (AA through HH and DE) through which
stratigraphic sections were developed and analyzed for stability with Slope W by GeoStudio 2014. The
sections are shown on Figure 1 which appears to be at liner level for the Area 7 expansion. The
sections are then modified to include closure conditions. The material parameters are a mix of those
obtained during the 2013 investigation at Area 7 and data from expansion project at the landfill.
(Commenter 44)

Response:
A summary of the material properties selected for design are described in the Engineering Report
Section 5.10.2 - Stability and are summarized in the Table included in Attachment 7 of the Engineering
Report. As noted in the summary table, the material parameters were selected based on the geologic
deposits present at the section locations as well as the existing and future loading conditions. The soil
properties were selected based on professional judgment to be representative of the anticipated
conditions at the section locations.
Comment:

The applicant should be required to submit a stability analysis for section HH using an undrained shear
strength of 533 psf. to demonstrate the actual factor of safety if the clay and silt behaves as was tested
by the lab for this project. (Commenter 44)

Response:

The undrained shear strength of 533 psf. is not representative of the soils in the area of Section H-H.
The soil properties utilized for Section H-H are identified in the table in Attachment 7 – Stability of the
Engineering Report. As noted in the table, the soil properties at section H-H are consistent with the
properties used for design of Area 5. The undrained shear strength for the deposit in Section H-H was
based on the testing completed for explorations at that location as presented in the Area 5 application
and are representative of the conditions at the location of Section H-H.

Comment:

They should also be required to obtain samples and perform multiple tests to prove the increased shear
strength of the clay and silt layer at this site. The use of select test results to help meet required factors
of safety is, in my professional opinion, unwise and unfounded. (Commenter 44)

Response:

Comment noted.

Comment:

Sections DE and GG report factors of safety of 1.501 and 1.511. Since these results barely exceed the
required minimum, they should be checked by performing independent stability analyses. (Commenter
44)

Response:

The factors of safety mentioned in the comment meet the Part 360 regulatory requirements and
independent stability analyses are not required.

Comment:
Page 30 of 105
Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

There are no stability analyses of the liner configuration as they may affect the adjacent existing waste
mass. An examination of existing fly over contours show some areas where it appears that the existing
waste mass will be undermined to make room for the new liner system. This should be addressed by
the applicant and again checked by independent stability analyses. (Commenter 44)

Response:

Since there is no undermining of waste associated with the installation of the new liner system the
suggested stability analyses are not necessary.

Comment:

The section on liner stability refers to sections that were developed from Figure 2. This Figure was not
available in the documents that were reviewed. (Commenter 44)

Response:

Figure 2 was included in the original submittal to the Department but was inadvertently omitted from the
final document. It is included in the supplemental geotechnical information presented in Appendix C to
the FEIS.

Comment:

The section on cap stability lists the required peak and residual angle of internal friction at the three
critical interfaces. However, the report does not indicate how this will be attained and what quality
control measures will be used to ensure that they are maintained during construction and maintenance.
(Commenter 44)

Response:

Material interface requirements and construction requirements are presented in the Engineering Report
Section 5.10.2.8 – Final Cover Slope Stability and further addressed in the Engineering Report
Attachment 4 - Construction Quality Assurance/Construction Quality Control Plan. Attachment 4
includes the project technical specifications (Appendix A) and the Interface Testing Requirements
(Appendix B).

The interface testing requirements state: “Interface friction testing of the soils and geosynthetics
incorporated within the baseliner and cap will be required to confirm that the minimum required
interface shear strengths are achieved.”

Through implementation of project technical specifications and the detailed testing requirements and
acceptance criteria contained in the site Construction Quality Assurance/Construction Quality Control
Plan (CQA/CQC), minimum friction angles stated in the Engineering Report will be maintained.

Comment:

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

Seismic stability analyses are for the most part performed with a horizontal seismic coefficient of
0.109g. There are 3 cases DE, EE, and HH where lower coefficients, 0.062g and 0.095g were used.
The note in the calculation states to see deformation analysis. It is reported on the cover sheet that
the calculated deformation is less than one foot, “which is acceptable for Subtitle D design guidance”.
(Commenter 44)

Response:

As presented in the Engineering Report Section 5.10.2 Stability Analyses and shown in the calculations
in Engineering Report Attachment 7 – Supporting Calculations – Seismic Stability, the site was
determined to be in a Seismic Impact Zone. Therefore, seismic analyses were conducted. The
analyses indicated that for Sections DE, EE, and HH, the computed factor using a horizontal seismic
coefficient of 0.109g was less than one. The lower coefficients referenced by the commenter are the
yield accelerations for the referenced sections and in accordance with US Environmental Protection
Agency (USEPA) Subtitle D guidance, were determined for a factor of safety of 1.0 for the section.
Using Subtitle D guidance, the deformation for each section using the yield acceleration is then
calculated. The computed lateral deformations were less than 1-ft, which generally accepted in the
industry based on Subtitle D design guidance.

Comment:

The design of the “Mechanically Stabilized Earth Structures Permit-Level Design Report”, MSE, was
prepared by Tensar International Corp, TIC, and is presented in Attachment 8. The design is performed
with total stress parameters “in lieu of effective stress parameters (to be provided by Client for
construction level design)”. This effective stress design needs to be presented to allow time for critical
review, not after permit approval and construction begins. (Commenter 44)

Response:

For most practical embankment stability evaluations on cohesive soils (which is the case for this site
and analysis), a total stress analysis is used for short term conditions when the impact of pore-pressure
increases is unknown. A total stress analysis eliminates the need to take these increases into account.
In an embankment analysis a total stress analysis using undrained shear strength is typically used to
assess the stability during and immediately after construction – which will be the critical condition for an
embankment on cohesive soil. Any excess pore pressure generated by the embankment construction
will dissipate over time leading to an increase in the effective stress, strength, and the computed factor
of safety. In summary, an effective stress analysis should result in higher factors of safety.

The Town’s application provides permit level drawings and calculations for the proposed facility that
have adequate detail to ascertain whether a facility can be constructed in a manner that is capable of
compliance with the applicable requirements of the regulations. Providing additional design detail at
the construction documentation phase is consistent with the Department’s process for development and
construction. Before construction commences, construction documentation and final design plans
stamped by a NYS Professional Engineer will be prepared and submitted to the Department.

Comment:

The seismic design of the MSE was performed with a peak horizontal ground acceleration (PHGA)
value of 0.06g [corrected from 0.60g reported by Cornerstone] for the project location. “The analyses
are based on one-half of the PHGA for global and compound stability, as discussed in Section 9.6 of
FHWA, Geotechnical Engineering Circular No. 3 “Design Guidance: Geotechnical Earthquake
Page 32 of 105
Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

Engineering for Highways, Volume 1, Design Principles”. It is not known whether highway design
guidance should be used for a landfill, especially one of this magnitude. (Commenter 44)

Response:

The seismic analysis requirements under 6 NYCRR 360-2.7(b)(7) do not specify a specific seismic
coefficient. However, the revised Part 360 regulations effective November 4, 2017 do establish that the
seismic analysis should be performed using a seismic coefficient equal to one-half the free field PHGA
at the site for the design earthquake, and therefore this methodology conforms to the new Part 360
regulatory requirements.

Comment:

The MSE berm is located in areas with an underlying layer of lacustrine clay and silt. The design calls
for removal of the clay and silt down to till or bedrock and replacement with controlled structural fill.
The clay and silt layer remains both inboard and outboard of the berm. On Sheet 23 Perimeter Berm
Details, the outboard clay and silt is shown inclined at 2H to 1V (Horizontal to Vertical). Based on local
experience the clay and silt will not stand at a 2H to 1V inclination. There is no known slope stability
analysis addressing this slope. (Commenter 44)

Response:

The 2H:1V Section referred to by this commenter on Sheet 23 is located at the outboard toe of the MSE
embankment. This short slope segment is a support section for an access road and would not be
constructed of clay and would be constructed of engineered structural fill. As such, the 2H:1V slope
configuration is appropriate for this type of material.

Comment:

There is no discussion of the design life of the MSE perimeter berm. In the settlement analyses of the
landfill, there are calculations of decomposition settlement at 30 years after closure, and a 20 year
operation life of Area 7. The designer of the MSE berm must consider a 50 year life and provide
warrantee that this system will survive at least 50 years and preferably 100 years. (Commenter 44)

Response:

Mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) wall design parameters have been reviewed by and design
guidelines issued by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The FHWA design guidelines
provide recommendations for both inextensible and extensible reinforcing elements, and for the welded
wire fabric facing material. These design guidelines, which are incorporated into many state
Department of Transportation standard specifications, provide design guidelines for 75-year and 100-
year service lives for significant structures of similar importance to a landfill. The design of the MSE
embankment at the site would be in accordance with these guidelines which are appropriate for the
proposed application and were applied using a 100-year design life.

Comment:
Engineering Report Section 5.2 Site Life - The calculated life and overall size of the proposed Landfill
supporting the design is based strictly on assumed waste density. For a major permit expansion at an
existing operating facility, it is preferred to use actual waste placement rates and site survey data to
calculate the in-place fill densities. The Annual Reports filed for the Landfill, and the Engineering Report
supporting the permit application, indicate in place waste densities of 1 ton/cy. Section 5.2 of the
Page 33 of 105
Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

Engineering Report incorrectly assumes operational cover needs are measured at 25% of the MSW
delivered volume. However, the September 21, 2015 Consent Order and the October 2015 modification
to the Part 360 permit strictly limits the delivery of daily cover to 25% of MSW measured on a weight
basis. The NYSDEC must verify that the total requested disposal volume correlates to the actual annual
MSW and operational cover limit stated in the permit. (Commenter 90)

Response:

The use of 1200 pounds per cubic yard (pcy) for the unit weight of waste is consistent with other 6
NYCRR Part 360 applications and Engineering Reports submitted in support of other landfill
expansions across the state (e.g., Area 5 application for Town of Colonie Landfill used 1200 pcy to
calculate airspace and includes daily cover within that unit weight). As noted in the publication, Landfill
Airspace Utilization: Measurement and Management, dated December 2005 by the Solid Waste
Association of North America (SWANA) the reported industry standard for landfilled waste density is
1,200 pounds of waste per cubic yard. Daily cover is not included in this value; however, the placement
of daily cover will actually reduce the effective density of the waste.

In regard to the use of a different value for the unit weight of waste in different calculations, the unit
weight will vary depending upon the application. For example, a higher than anticipated unit weight of
80 pounds per cubic foot (pcf), which is equivalent to 2,160 pcy, is used in the stability analysis to add a
degree of conservatism to the calculations (in addition to the factor of safety that is also applied to the
calculations). Using the same value for the unit weight in all analyses associated with design of solid
waste facilities could result in non-conservative designs and is therefore not done in practice.

The referenced consent order does not limit facility use to 25% by weight for daily cover, but 25% by
weight of Alternative Daily Cover (ADC). Since the life of the facility is a function of how much volume is
used on an annual basis, assessing the cover material use by volume is the most appropriate
methodology to make the assessment. The facility is currently bringing in additional soil resources to
make up the shortfall between actual daily cover and ADC to appropriately manage vectors and odors,
and is reportedly using approximately 25% by volume.

While the annual report presents an estimate of 1 ton/cy, it should be noted that the reported value is
based on an analysis of waste material and airspace used. What is not taken into account is the
additional volume that is generated by the settlement of previously placed waste – which results in the
actual volume of waste placed being larger than that measured between annual surveys. The effect is
that the actual density of the current waste material is less than 1 ton/cy.

Comment:

Engineering Design/Geotechnical - The drawings submitted contain notes indicating the design is
incomplete. For example, see Notes 1 and 2 provided on Detail 2, Sheet 23. How can NYSDEC
determine if the design is appropriate if a complete design has not been submitted? Many concerns
regarding the completion of the design. (Commenter 90)

Response:

The referenced notes do not indicate that the design is incomplete - they indicate that additional detail
will be provided at the time that Construction Drawings are submitted. Knowing all details required for
construction at the time of permitting is not possible due to things such as material and contractor
availability at the time construction actually commences. The applicable regulations require the
applicant to prepare a permit application that provides adequate detail to ascertain if a facility can be
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constructed in a manner that is capable of compliance with the applicable requirements of the
regulations – not adequate detail to actually perform the construction. The Town’s application meets
the regulatory standard because it provides detailed permit level drawings and calculations for the
proposed facility. This is a typical process for landfill permitting, development, and construction. Part
360 requires that before construction commences, Construction Documentation and final design plans
stamped by a NY Professional Engineer be prepared and submitted to the Department.

Comment:

Volume Increase - No additional daily capacity, No provisions to address additional waste generation in
the Region, Segmentation of Approvals. As it appears that the landfill is anticipating a larger service
area then the impact studies related to Traffic, Air Quality, Noise and Odor Studies would need to be
reevaluated taking into account reasonable increase of solid waste generated over the next 20 years.
(Commenter 53)

Response:

The Area 7 expansion would not include any increase in the annual volume of incoming waste
accepted at the landfill as described in Section 1.2.2 of the Engineering Report. The proposed
development is a continuation of an existing service. The SEQRA review is based on the daily limits
stated in the current permit - any changes to the permit will require an application to modify the permit
and a subsequent environmental review. There is no connection between this project and other
possible Region-wide waste management initiatives, and therefore, those are not identified or
addressed in the documentation. The development described as the proposed action is not part of or
related to any other action by the Town of Colonie or CRL.

Comment:

Expansion study was incomplete and inaccurate. (Commenters 13, 53, 76)

Response:

Comment noted.

Comment:

The clay bottom liner in Areas 4 and 5 containing waste would not meet current standards for double
composite liners at landfills and should not be designed into or considered as the defacto base or
foundation of a landfill expansion of this scale and magnitude in this environmental setting.
(Commenter 51)

Response:

As described in Section 2.7 of the Engineering Report, the liner system for Area 5 is a composite liner
system and was approved pursuant to the 6 NYCRR Part 360 regulations in effect at the time of the
approval for Area 5. Where the proposed development would place waste over Area 4, there would be
a new composite liner system installed that would also have to comply with the applicable 6 NYCRR
Part 360 regulations.

Comment:

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I read in the June 8 Albany Times Union that DEC is considering allowing or requiring that the land
beneath the old capped hazardous waste dump co-located with the existing Colonie landfill be injected
with some type of cement as a way to stabilize the ground and prevent or reduce pollution of the river
from an expanded landfill. (Commenter 32)

Response:

Comment noted.

Comment:

Cornerstone's letter report in response to DEC's request does not conclude that the alluvial areas are
not susceptible to liquefaction. Rather, Cornerstone states that the "Sand deposit at the north end of
the site may be subject to liquefaction." Cornerstone's response to the discovery of the potential
liquefaction problem is to assert that the condition "can be accommodated by the berm, liner and
stormwater facility design." Cornerstone then describes a variety of possible strategies to be employed
in response to the condition, including "compaction" and "jet grouting". In support of its assertions that
those techniques can bring stability to any possible liquefaction condition that may arise, Cornerstone
provides a catalogue of projects that have employed compaction grouting, including an office building
project in Florida, a townhouse development in Pennsylvania and a Hampton Inn in Albuquerque, New
Mexico. Notably none of the case studies presented by Cornerstone pertain to a landfill project, much
less a facility of the size and scope of the Area 7 project. (Commenter 36)

Response:

6 NYCRR 360- 2.7(b)(7) provides that the analysis must demonstrate that all long-term containment
structures including liners, leachate collection and removal systems, and surface water control systems,
are designed to retain a minimum factor of safety of 1.0 and do not require that the site be free from
soils that are susceptible to liquefaction. The geotechnical analysis in Appendix C includes detailed
analysis showing a minimum factor of safety of 1.0 is achieved. Regarding the suitability of the method
proposed for improving the soils at the site, it should be noted that the methodology is widely used for
critical structures including dams, hospitals, and military bases. The report titled, “Ground Improvement
Techniques for Liquefaction Remediation Near Existing Lifelines,” National Institute of Standards and
Technology, October 1995 includes case studies for compaction grouting at these critical facilities and
also includes case studies of a wide range of appropriate methodologies for improving potentially
liquefiable soils at other critical sites.

Comment:

The submission on the liquefaction issue supports a finding that the proposed Landfill cannot be
approved. Part 360 bars the siting of a landfill in an unstable area. (Commenter 36)

Response:

6 NYCRR 360- 2.12(c)(4), which defines Unstable Areas, indicates the requirement does not apply if
an application for expansion of an existing landfill demonstrates that adequate support for the structural
components of the landfill exists or can be engineered to support any additional loads that may be
generated by continued operation of the facility. The record demonstrates the Area 7 would be stable.

Comment:

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

The May 5, 2017 Supplemental Geotechnical Documentation states that additional subsurface
investigation will be performed during final design to delineate the full extent of the alluvium layer. Note
that they have included several Figure 1's in this document. (Commenter 44)

Response:

Yes, there are three Figure 1s, each one in a different Appendix of the May 5, 2017 Document, and
each one with a different legend, so it is clear what each is meant to depict and how they relate to the
Document itself. The Town’s application provides permit level drawings and calculations for the
proposed facility that have adequate detail to ascertain whether a facility could be constructed in a
manner to comply with the applicable requirements. Providing additional design detail at the
construction documentation phase is consistent with the Department’s process for development and
construction. Before construction commences, construction documentation and final design plans
stamped by a NYS Professional Engineer will be prepared and submitted to the Department for
approval.

Comment:

Cornerstone provided calculations that reveal that much of the alluvial sand layer exhibits a factor of
safety against liquefaction that is less than unity, 1 .0…..The results are shown in Tables 1A, 1B, and
1C. The calculations are performed only on present day topographic conditions, not during or after
construction of and filling of the landfill. Several design cases should be analyzed. In Appendix C
entitled Slope Stability Analysis of the May 5, 2017 letter Cornerstone provides detailed slope stability
analyses in the areas containing the liquefiable sand layer. The global stability was analyzed along
stratigraphic sections entitled DD, DE, and EE as shown on the third Figure 1 entitled Global Stability
Cross-Section Locations. DD extends north to south through the stormwater pond and DE and EE
northeast to southwest through the perimeter berm. They reportedly employed the Geo Studio software
Slope/W utilizing the Morgenstern-Price method. They state that they ran multiple analyses including
circular arc and block type failures. The analyses reported the least factors of safety that were all less
than 1.0, indicating that all three slopes would fail during an earthquake. An examination of the
computer output diagrams reveal that the analyses were performed on the completed landfill after filling
and covering. Several design cases should be analyzed. (Commenter 44)

Response:

Several cases were assessed and, as set forth in the updated Supplemental Geotechnical Information
(included as Appendix C of this FEIS), a conservative one was fully analyzed and presented in the
calculations. The presented case looked at the loading condition at the berm. North of the berm the
sand is encountered at a shallower depth and the loading on the sands is lower. Calculations indicate
that the liquefaction potential is greater (lower FS against liquefaction) in the pond area and this area of
the site was analyzed as described in the pond area information. South of the berm, while the load
increases due to the landfill mass, the thickness of the sand deposit decreases and this reduces
liquefaction settlement that might occur. Stability calculations that are also included in the
Supplemental Geotechnical Information evaluated stability at the berm and pond areas using the
reduced soil strength that is indicative of liquefied soils, and it was assumed that the entire sand zone
would liquefy (even if this would not be the case). Assuming the entire sand zone would liquefy is
conservative as the data indicates that the N-values within the deposit are variable, and thus not all the
deposit is susceptible to liquefaction. However, the deposit is treated as a whole in the evaluations.
This is described in more detail in the updated Supplemental Geotechnical Information (included as
Appendix C of this FEIS). Therefore, the liquefaction analyses did consider the finished condition.

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Comment:

Table 1B is noted to have been developed for borings B-2013-8 and B-2013-12, yet the stratigraphy is
similar to that in the log of boring B-2013-8, and not B-2013-12. An examination of the tables reveals
that there are errors. The total and effective pressure at the center of the layer is incorrect in many
calculations. These errors certainly affect subsequent calculations in the spread sheet. (Commenter
44)

Response:

The supplemental geotechnical analysis has demonstrated to the Department’s satisfaction compliance
with 6 NYCRR 360-2.12(c)(4) which requires that a permit application for a landfill expansion must
demonstrate that adequate support for the structural components of the proposed expansion can be
engineered to support any additional loads that may be generated by the expansion. A more detailed
analysis will be required to be submitted before any landfill expansion construction activities occur over
alluvial soils.

Comment:

Cornerstone admits that portions of the alluvial sand layer may liquefy during an earthquake so they
calculate liquefaction settlement…..The calculations are performed only on present day topographic
conditions, not during or after construction of and filling of the landfill. Several design cases should be
evaluated. (Commenter 44)

Response:

Several cases were assessed and, as set forth in the updated Supplemental Geotechnical Information
(included as Appendix C of this FEIS), a conservative one was fully analyzed and presented in the
calculations. The presented case looked at the loading condition at the berm. North of the berm the
sand is encountered at a shallower depth and the loading on the sands is lower. Calculations indicate
that the liquefaction potential is greater (lower FS against liquefaction) in the pond area and this area of
the site was analyzed as described in the pond area information. South of the berm, while the load
increases due to the landfill mass, the thickness of the sand deposit decreases and this reduces
liquefaction settlement that might occur. Stability calculations that are also included in the
Supplemental Geotechnical Information evaluated stability at the berm and pond areas using the
reduced soil strength that is indicative of liquefied soils, and it was assumed that the entire sand zone
would liquefy (even if this would not be the case). Assuming the entire sand zone would liquefy is
conservative as the data indicates that the N-values within the deposit are variable, and thus not all the
deposit is susceptible to liquefaction. However, the deposit is treated as a whole in the evaluations.
This is described in more detail in the updated Supplemental Geotechnical Information (included as
Appendix C of this FEIS). Therefore, the liquefaction analyses did consider the finished condition.

Comment:

They report that ‘Settlements were estimated to be approximately 6-in. beneath the stormwater facility
and 2-in. beneath the perimeter berm.’ However, the spread sheets and the January 18th letter predict
about 16 inches of settlement at the stormwater pond and 6 inches at the perimeter berm. An
examination of the spread sheets reveals errors in the total and effective pressure at the center of the
soil layer again. These errors affect subsequent calculations. I used the simplified procedure outlined in
EM 1110-1-1904 and calculated about 15 inches of settlement using boring B-2013-09 at the

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

stormwater pond. These discrepancies must be clarified and errors must be corrected in a new
document or addendum. (Commenter 44)

Response:

A typographical error in the letter indicating 6 and 2 inches of settlement has been corrected to reflect a
calculated settlement approximately 4 inches at the berm and 16 inches at the northern edge of the
stormwater pond. These numbers are consistent with those previously presented in the calculations
sheets. The updated Supplemental Geotechnical Information is included as Appendix C of this FEIS.

Comment:

An examination of the table reveals that a waste density of 140 pcf was used in error…..Why use only 4
inches of settlement for the liner strain analysis when the predicted settlement was as much as 16
inches? Furthermore, liquefaction usually results in differential settlement. There is no discussion of
how much differential settlement may occur and how it would affect the liner and drainage systems.
There is too little information provided and no discussion stating assumptions, data used, reasoning for
the analyses, and conclusions reached. (Commenter 44)

Response:

The referenced calculation tables have been updated in response to comments and the results do not
significantly change – 4 inches of settlement at the berm – which does not result in significant liner
strain or settlement. The tables have been simplified as well. The commenter notes that the liner strain
and slopes should be checked where 16 inches of settlement was predicted (at the stormwater pond);
there is no Part 360 liner system at the pond. Contrary to the commenter’s observation, the settlement
analysis was performed at a location where proposed landfill liner exists – which is not the case at the
pond location. Also, the previous calculation presented was meant to be representative of the
settlement at the site and used the original calculation (from October 2014) to show how the settlement
as a result of liquefaction would only improve the liner and pipe slopes and have a negligible impact on
the strain. For clarity, the detailed calculations from subsequent responses to comments (June 2016)
have been updated and are included as part of this response. They show that when liquefaction
settlement of 4 inches near the berm is added to Settlement Section 2, the liner slope will increase from
2.10% to 2.19% (which is an improvement) and the negligible amount of strain of 0.04% will not
change. For the Settlement Section 4, which represents a section along a pipe, the liner slope will
increase from 2.11% to 2.21% (which is an improvement) and the negligible amount of strain of 0.04%
will not change. It should be noted that that higher settlements in the area of the berm will actually
improve the slope of the drainage systems.

The Commenter also notes that the use of 140 pcf for the unit weight of waste is an error. This is not an
error and it is used to address the Part 360 regulations that require a factor of safety of 2 to be applied
to the settlement calculations. This is clearly described in the application documents as a regulatory
requirement and element of conservatism in the design. In fact, the unit weight of the waste in more
recent settlement calculations has been increased to 80 pcf and then applied the factor of safety of 2 to
result in a unit weight of 160 pcf. A lower unit weight for waste is not suggested because it would
result in lower settlement estimates.

Comment:

Liquefaction causes sand boils which flow up through the overlying soils and creates a cone shaped
"volcano-like" eruption at the ground surface. There is no discussion of how this phenomenon may
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react when blocked by the liner system. The boil will likely cause differential movement of the liner,
which should be addressed by Cornerstone. (Commenter 44)

Response:

The overlying existing waste thickness, the permeable nature of the existing waste, and the presence of
the new liner system and overlying waste mass would prevent sand boils at the surface of the Area 7
development.

Comment:

Tables 3A and 3B show that an observed N-value of 12 and 7 is required for the borings at the storm
water pond and perimeter berm, respectively. An examination of Table 3A reveals an error in the Cn
correction that is applied to field blow counts to obtain corrected blow counts in boring B-2013-09.
When corrected, this error may increase the 16 inch predicted settlement at the stormwater pond.
(Commenter 44)

Response:

The referenced calculation tables have been updated in response to comments and the results do not
significantly change (4 inches of settlement at the berm, 16 inches at the pond) as outlined in Appendix
C of the FEIS. Note too, that the referenced N-values of 12 and 7 are for subsurface explorations that
will be made as part of the remediation. When these N-values are achieved, the liquefaction potential
is greater than 1.0 and the alluvial deposit would no longer be subject to liquefaction.

Comment:

At the portion of the perimeter berm that is subject to settlement due to liquefaction, Cornerstone
decided to engineer a reinforced earth "mattress" to bridge over the underlying soft liquefiable sand
layer. Four layers of Paralink 1500 geogrid separated by 2 feet of compacted granular soil are
proposed. This design is considered preliminary and needs to be finalized. The reported factors of
safety exceed 1.0. (Commenter 44)

Response:

The May 5, 2017 document clearly presents the reinforcement grid as an alternative to grouting the
sand – and nowhere does the document state it is “for the berm that is subject to settlement due to
liquefaction”. The permit level design is complete and as noted in the comment the factor of safety
(>1.0) exceeds the regulatory threshold. The Town’s application provides permit level drawings and
calculations for the proposed facility that have adequate detail to ascertain whether a facility can be
constructed in a manner that is capable of compliance with the applicable requirements of the
regulations. Providing additional design detail at the construction documentation phase is consistent
with the Department’s process for development and construction. Before construction commences,
construction documentation and final design plans stamped by a NYS Professional Engineer would be
prepared and submitted to the Department for approval.

Comment:

Cornerstone states that additional subsurface investigation will be performed during final design to
refine the limits of remediation that may be required. The remediation design and certification that
construction was completed in accordance with the design will be submitted as part of the landfill
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construction certification report. They do not state who will inspect, test, and certify the construction.
An independent testing firm should be contracted to provide services. (Commenter 44)

Response:

The Commenter is referring to the draft January 2017 Response to Comments. The updated
Supplemental Geotechnical Information (included as Appendix C of the FEIS) provides appropriate
remediation limits and details to assess the project’s ability to meet the Part 360 regulations. The
Commenter also indicated there is no information on the testing for the project. However, the
CQA/CQC plan for the Area 7 Development thoroughly documents how the project construction will be
documented and certified by an independent engineer.

The Town’s application provides permit level drawings and calculations for the proposed facility that
have adequate detail to ascertain whether a facility could be constructed in a manner to comply with
applicable requirements. Providing additional design detail at the construction documentation phase is
consistent with the Department’s process for development and construction. Before construction
commences, construction documentation and final design plans stamped by a NYS Professional
Engineer will be prepared and submitted to the Department for approval.

Comment:

After review of the documents, it is my professional opinion that the proposed project is risky from a
geotechnical standpoint. The perimeter berm will be located approximately 100 feet from Route 9 and
Crescent Road. The berm will be about as tall as a 3 story building. There is a large visual impact of the
berm and a landfill mass behind it that will top out at about 85 feet taller than the present day landfill
top. Areas of the new waste mass will exceed 100 feet in thickness causing a net bearing stress
increase in excess of 4 TSF on the underlying soils and liner system. The soft clays and loose sand will
experience a great deal of settlement under this magnitude of increased stress. (Commenter 44)

Response:

Comment noted.

Comment:

The Cornerstone documents are difficult to follow. The input for the slope stability runs needs to be
provided so it can be examined to determine that the runs are correct and suitable for the appropriate
design cases. The equations utilized in the spread sheets should be spelled out to allow checking of the
design intent and calculations within the spread sheets. The documents are not well organized.
Narrative explaining the spread sheets and slope stability analyses is lacking or non-existing. There
were multiple Figure 1’s included in the documents adding to confusion. There is conflicting data in the
May 5th and January 28th letters. There are math errors in the spread sheets. Copied text book pages
are not properly cited. Predicted settlement magnitudes due to liquefaction are stated differently in the
documents. The backup data and calculation sheets should be included with proper citations. The
equations used in the spread sheets should be fully cited and explained with a series of sample
calculations. NYS DEC should require corrections of the errors, clarifications of ambiguities, and
issuance of a new report. (Commenter 44)

Response:

Comment noted.
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Comment:

Part 360 Application Form 5, Section 14 does not indicate the need for variances. As summarized
herein, variances will be needed due to departures from minimum 6 NYCRR 360 requirements.
(Commenter 90)

Response:

Comment noted.

Comment:

Part 360 Application Form 6) Attachment 1 of the Part 360 Application: The description of the Area 7
Development is not based on a design. The narrative states that a design will be forthcoming.
Descriptions of the facility are inconsistent with the Plans and Engineering Report subsequently
submitted (which are also preliminary). (Commenter 90)

Response:

The project description in the Engineering Report and the DEIS supersede the information presented in
Attachment 1 of the Part 360 Application. Regardless, the facility descriptions in the Engineering Report
and DEIS are consistent with those presented in Attachment 1. The increased waste footprint (23 acres
in the DEIS versus 24 acres in Attachment 1), the finished height (Elevation 517 msl in both
documents), the wetland impacts (1.43 acres in the DEIS versus 1.87 acres in Attachment 1) and the
landfill life (11.6 million cubic yards and “at least 20 years” in the Engineering Report versus 10 million
cubic yards and “more than 20 years of life” in Attachment 1) are consistently presented. Also, the
Engineering Report and associated Engineering Drawings are not preliminary. As described elsewhere
in this response document, the Department does not typically request construction level detail at this
stage in the permitting process and in most cases that level of detail cannot be known at the time of
permitting because it is a function of material availability and construction means and methods – which
are developed at the time of construction. As noted earlier, before construction commences,
construction documentation and final design plans stamped by a NYS Professional Engineer would
need to be prepared and submitted to the Department for approval.

Comment:

Part 360 Application Form 7) Capital Region Landfills, Inc. (CRL) is identified as the operator of the
Landfill on the 6 NYCRR Part 360 Permit application. The Town of Colonie is identified as owner of the
facility. However, the current Operating Permit is only issued to the Town. The NYSDEC should include
CRL on the permit as a co-permittee with the Town. (Commenters 36, 90)

Response:

Comment noted.

Ecological

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

The comments and responses contained herein pertain to the proposed design contained in the original
Area 7 permit application. The final design of the facility will be significantly altered, as the Department
is requiring a 500-foot setback for waste deposition from the Mohawk River, which is 400 feet further
back from the original design of a 100-foot set back. The final design will also be altered to have a final
elevation of 467 feet above mean sea level (amsl), which is 50 feet lower than the original proposal of
517 feet amsl. The Department’s responses answer the issues raised by the commenters on the
original design, and do not take into account the Department required design changes.

Comment:

Comments were submitted regarding concerns about potential harm that the project might have to
Rare/Threatened & Endangered Species, particularly the federally listed Indiana Bat and the Northern
Long-Eared Bat. Claims were made that no on-site surveys were performed for Federally Endangered
or Threatened Species, and that the tree species on the site are suitable habitat for bats to utilize for
roosting during the spring, summer and, fall.

Response:

The types of trees identified at the site are noted in the application as having a low potential for being
roost trees. The Permit Application was submitted to USFWS on February 15, 2015 and no comments
were received. The Department’s Threatened and Endangered Species biologist reviewed the project
and site, and confirmed that the nearest location for both Indiana bat and Northern long-eared bat is
approximately 11 miles from the landfill location. While either species could potentially occur at the site
or anywhere else in the state for that matter, at this distance the Department does not require a
restriction for tree cutting, nor is there a regulatory requirement to conduct surveys as impacts to these
species are highly unlikely.

Comment:

A statement was made that the initial Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) did not list Vischer Ferry,
which is within five (5) miles of the project site and that it is designated by the NYSDEC as a Bird
Conservation Area and is also recognized within the Atlantic Flyway as an Important Bird Area.

Other comments received stated the landfill attracts large flocks of herring gulls and rodents and that
garbage that escapes from ingoing trucks and the landfill ending up along the roadsides and trees in
the vicinity of the landfill.

Further, comments were made that the proximity of the leachate lagoons endanger wildlife, especially
during any unforeseen natural event such as floods or hurricanes, because the contents of them would
spill into the river. (Commenters 71, 90, 26, 63, 129, 13)

Response:

No threatened or endangered bird species were identified in the project area. Vischer Ferry is a Bird
Conservation Area; however, it is located over five miles from the project site. The Department found
no significant impact to bird species resulting from the Area 7 expansion.

The management of landfill vectors, including gulls and rodents is discussed in detail in the Engineering
Report (Operation & Maintenance plan). Passive management techniques that are employed include
the use of daily covers, minimizing the working face size and controlling standing water on the site. In

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addition, the O & M Plan contains a Wildlife Management Plan which includes active nuisance bird
control measures such as pyrotechnics, cannons and distress calls.

The Operations and Maintenance Plan also includes controls and procedures that are used to
appropriately manage site litter. These consist of the use of various types of fencing – including
permanent and mobile fencing, regular inspections, litter pick-up, and curtailing certain waste activities
in high winds.

Capital Region Landfills (CRL) operates the landfill and routinely notifies all its customers and users of
the landfill regarding unsecured loads. There is signage posted at the entrance to the site indicating
that all loads must be properly confined or covered with a tarp, and that the loads are subject to
inspection by the Town or the NYSDEC and that violators are subject to fines. The O & M Plan for the
site includes engineering controls and procedures to regularly and appropriately manage site litter and
for maintaining the roads outside of the facility boundaries. The plan includes performing daily
inspections for any litter that is being blown off-site and for clean-up as appropriate.

The existing leachate lagoons are proposed to be removed and replaced with two 500,000-gallon
storage tanks with primary and secondary containment. The proposed tanks will be located at the
southwest corner of the site, well outside the floodplain of the Mohawk River. The new storage tanks
will eliminate the need for the open storage lagoons and any threat of leachate being released to any
surface waters. Further, the removal of open leachate lagoons with closed leachate tanks will also
have a positive effect on mitigating existing odor concerns at the existing landfill.

Comment:

EAF Section C.1.b fails to list the Mohawk River Watershed Management Plan. Additionally, the EAF
should acknowledge the designated Important Bird Area (IBA) and designated NYSDEC Bird
Conservation Area located within five (5) miles of the Landfill. (Commenter 90)

Response:

The EAF section quoted asks whether the development is within a special planning district. The
proposed development is not within the Important Bird Area (IBA) or Bird Conservation Area. While the
development is within the boundaries of the Mohawk River Watershed Management Plan, the FEIS and
Engineering Report thoroughly describe how the development and environmental controls are
protective of the surface water in the vicinity of the project area, including the Mohawk River. The goals
of the Mohawk River Watershed Management Plan and how, if at all, the proposed Area 7
Development may impact such goals or how any such impacts may be mitigated is set forth below:

Goal #1: Protect and restore the quality and ecological function of water resources. The proposed
development protects the quality of water resources through the use of engineered liner systems and
increased stormwater quality features (stormwater ponds).

Goal #2: Protect and enhance natural hydrologic processes. The proposed development protects the
hydrologic process by using stormwater management and erosion and sediment controls that are
consistent with the New York State guidelines and design manuals.

Goal #3: Promote flood hazard risk reduction and enhanced flood resilience. The proposed
development will not result in increases to peak stormwater flows. While there is a limited amount of fill
proposed within the flood plain, Section 4.1 of the Engineering Report describes how the fill will not
impact the flood plain.

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Goal #4: Protect, restore, and enhance fish and wildlife habitat. The proposed development protects
fish and wildlife habitat by using stormwater management and erosion and sediment controls that are
consistent with the New York State guidelines and design manuals and implementing operational
environmental controls.

Goal #5: Revitalize communities and waterfronts and adopt Smart Growth land use practices. The
proposed development is a Town of Colonie sponsored project.

Goal #6: Promote agriculture and other working landscapes. The proposed development is not on an
agricultural landscape.

Goal #7: Increase watershed awareness. The proposed development does not preclude the ability of
the coalition to increase watershed awareness.

By keeping the proposed development within the limits of the existing landfill properties, all of the goals
listed above can continue to be pursued by the Mohawk River Watershed Coalition.

Comment:

EAF Section E.2.o and p do not list the endangered or threatened species with known ranges that
include the project site. For example, the Bald Eagle has known nesting sites on the Mohawk River
corridor and is frequently sighted in the project area. The project site is also within the range of the
Northern Long-Eared Bat and the Indiana Bat. (Commenter 90)

Response:

Section 2.7 and Appendix E of the FEIS describes in more detail that the project does not impact the
Bald Eagle or bat population.

More specifically, the Indiana Bat is no longer considered extant in Albany County (therefore, no
potential impact) and there is low potential for suitable roost trees to result in an impact to the Northern
Long-eared bat. The site will be developed such that the limited tree clearing will occur between
November 1 and March 31, and by doing so, this mitigates any potential bat impacts since at that time
bats are not using the trees for roosting.

The applicant’s consultant identified only the bald eagle as a bird species that would be potentially
impacted by the proposed development. As a result, site specific surveys were performed by Bagdon
Environmental to observe the eagle activity around the site. The results of the survey indicated that the
Mohawk River and not the landfill was the main attractant to the eagles and the landfill is incidental to
the presence of the eagles. Based on these studies and the record the Department determined that the
Area 7 expansion would not pose a potential impact d to eagles.

Water Resources

Comment 1:

Several general comments related to the wetland impacts, wetland quality, siting related to wetlands as
well as general comments related to the proximity of the landfill to the Mohawk River or residential
areas were presented. The potential for contaminated waste run off into the river was also expressed
as a concern. (Commenters: 11, 16, 26, 30, 33 36, 56, 58, 70, 71, 85, 87, 90, 93, 99, 105, 129, 133,
134, 137, 142,147)

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

Comment 2:

No regard to previous signed landfill closure agreements or the long term environmental impact on the
local area, especially the bordering Mohawk River water refuge and encompassed protected wetlands.
(Commenter 45)

Comment 3:

Existing waste/drums - I’m sure that those 55-gallon drums are all rotted and I can just imagine what
will leach out of the ground when you put hundreds of metric tons of trash on top of that. I can only
think that if the Town of Colonie had to pay for a cleanup, the economics of something like that would
be much more overbearing than the revenue that the dump would generate. (Commenter 40)

Responses:

As described in Section 2.6 of the FEIS, the wetlands at the site – which contain almost no natural
features due to development associated with managing highway drainage – will be disturbed and
mitigated under an Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) permit and approval and a NYSDEC Water
Quality Certification. More specifically, the proposed Area 7 Development would impact approximately
1.43 acres of federally-regulated low-quality wetlands and 1.32 acres of 100-foot buffer of NYSDEC-
regulated wetlands. NYS freshwater wetland TN-10 has already has been disturbed by work done for
the leachate ponds under a previous wetland permit and is used for the berms of the ponds. The 1.32-
acre area to be disturbed for the perimeter berm of the Area 7 Development will be a similar use (i.e.,
perimeter berm).

Applications have been submitted to the ACOE for a federal wetland permit and to the Department for
an Article 24 Freshwater Wetlands Permit for the disturbance of these wetlands. As part of this
request, the Town has developed a wetlands mitigation strategy recommended by the ACOE which
includes utilizing the Wetland Trust Approved Susquehanna Basin Headwaters and Adjacent Basins In-
Lieu Fee Program (a preferred mitigation option as set forth in the Mitigation Rule). The Mitigation Rule,
which was promulgated in 2008 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and ACOE allows for
three mechanisms to providing compensatory mitigation (listed in order of preference as established by
the regulations): mitigation banks, in-lieu fee programs, and permittee-responsible mitigation. The Town
and CRL are proposing to use the In-Lieu Fee Program to satisfy mitigation requirements for this
project. The Town and CRL would acquire, as indicated in the federal wetland application and
subsequently confirmed through additional discussions with the ACOE, 3.2 acres of wetland credits in
the Susquehanna Basin Headwaters and Adjacent Basins In-Lieu Fee Program. A letter of credit
availability is included in Appendix D of the DEIS (October 26, 2015 correspondence to the ACOE).

The comments identified above relate, in part, to landfill siting in wetland areas. Department
regulations state that expansions of existing solid waste management facilities shall not be constructed
or operated within the boundary of a federally regulated wetland unless permits are obtained and
demonstrations are made that there are no practicable alternatives, wetlands will be protected, and
there will be no net loss of wetlands. See generally 6 NYCRR 360-2.12(c)(8).

The Department has accepted the Town’s Article 24 Freshwater Wetlands application as complete and
is aware that the ACOE has indicated it is satisfied with the application materials submitted and the In-
Lieu Fee Program alternative selected, after an evaluation of both on-and off-site alternatives and
potential mitigation.

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

While the DEC wetland buffer area (approximately 1.3 acres) would be disturbed for landfill
development it is noted that this is not new disturbance, but rather a continuation of a past disturbance
for current operations for a perimeter berm and internal roadway.

Based on a review of the application materials, current design criteria and applicable regulations, solid
waste disposal and the record Area 7 can be constructed and operated in an environmentally sound
manner (there are no documented releases/failures associated with facilities constructed with double
composite liners in accordance with current regulations) in such proximity to the Mohawk River.

Comment:

Several general comments related to the potential impact on the water quality of the Mohawk River and
the public water supply for the City of Cohoes were presented. (Commenters: 11, 26, 27, 37, 52, 55,
60, 68, 74, 85,86, 87, 105, 111, 124, 134, 147)
Response:
As discussed in Section 4.1 of the Engineering Report, the development meets the regulatory
separation distances from the Mohawk River, and where the proposed development is at its closest
point to the river, it is approximately 2 miles to the City of Cohoes water intake.

Historic waste disposal areas (i.e., waste deposited prior to current regulations) at this facility and
others are monitored to determine if remedial actions are necessary to protect human health and the
environment. While localized groundwater impacts from historic waste disposal areas are present at
this site, there is no evidence to suggest that they pose a risk to human health and the environment.

As described in the FEIS (Sections 2.5 and 3.2) and Site Investigation Report (Attachment 2, Section
6), the construction of a double liner system over 37 acres of existing waste will result in a reduction in
recharge (estimated to be reduced from approximately 100 gal/acre/day to near zero) in these areas.
The reduction in recharge (i.e. preventing the migration of precipitation through the existing waste) is
anticipated to result in a long-term improvement in water quality. Quarterly, on-going water quality
monitoring will serve to both document and monitor for potential groundwater impacts.

Furthermore, the City of Cohoes water supply consistently meets drinking water quality criteria. Based
on a review of the annual reports submitted to the NY Department of Health (DOH), testing performed
by the City of Cohoes on its water supply documents that all parameters are below applicable drinking
water quality criteria. The Annual Reports can be found at the following web site:
http://www.cohoes.com/Cit-e-Access/webpage.cfm?TID=34&TPID=6418

There is no evidence of environmental impacts to the Mohawk River under current conditions and
future development.

Comment:

The existing landfill conditions have not been adequately evaluated with respect to the potential
environmental impacts to the bordering Class A Mohawk River and the City of Cohoes drinking water
intake 1.5 miles downstream. Given the lack of critical assessment and environmental monitoring of the
existing landfill, it’s impossible to properly quantify the potential environmental impacts of the proposed
massive expansion and inappropriate for the Department to issue a Water Quality Certification.
(Commenter 51)

Response:

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

The Site Investigation Report (SIR) Report, which is Attachment 3 of the Engineering Report includes
an exhaustive characterization of the landfill site. Historic waste disposal areas (i.e., waste deposited
prior to current regulations) at this facility and others are monitored to determine if remedial actions are
necessary to protect human health and the environment. While localized groundwater impacts are
present, they do not pose a risk to human health and the environment and, as discussed above in a
previous response, testing by the City of Cohoes consistently indicates that the water supply meets all
applicable water quality criteria. As discussed in Section 2.5.3 of the FEIS, the proposed expansion will
overlay approximately 37 acres of existing waste area, thereby reducing infiltration and resulting in an
anticipated improvement in the long-term water groundwater quality.

Area 7 stormwater management and retention would be improved as a result of the proposed and there
will be no increase to the peak stormwater volumes exiting Area 7 and extended stormwater retention
will further reduce suspended solids (as required by New York State stormwater management
guidelines). The Area 7 construction will direct larger areas of the site to two new stormwater basins
that will improve the water quality management at the facility. The appropriate management of
stormwater at the site is described in more detail in Section 5.12 of the Engineering Report.
Additionally, the site maintains a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) for the existing
stormwater discharges (NYSDEC Multi-Sector General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from
Industrial Activities). The SWPPP would be implemented and permit coverage maintained throughout
the construction and operation of Area 7.

Comment:

The existing and proposed Environmental Monitoring Program has no associated surface water or
River sediment sampling to critically assess and monitor impacts to the Mohawk River. (Commenter
51)

Response:

The stormwater runoff at the site is monitored under the site-wide stormwater pollution prevention plan
(SWPPP) which is maintained as part of the permit coverage the site has under the Multi-Sector
General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity (MSGP 0-12-001). As part
of the plan, the operator regularly samples (quarterly) and analyzes (annually) stormwater runoff from
five (5) locations on the site, all of which eventually discharge into the Mohawk River. The SWPPP for
the site is in Attachment 9 of the Engineering Report.

Comment:

The NYSDEC has issued Notice of Violations regarding contamination in areas that drain into the
Mohawk River and/or adjacent wetlands. Recent FOIL results of all environmental analytical data
related to the Colonie Landfill indicate that there is no associated surface water sampling to critically
assess past or current potential impacts of those violations to the Mohawk River or wetlands.
(Commenter 51)

Response:

The NYSDEC issued a NOV on December 10, 2015 related to stormwater quality and reporting
requirements under the site’s stormwater discharge coverage under MSGP 0-12-001. The NOV
required implementation of water quality best management practices, an update to the site SWPPP,
and resubmittal of prior reported results on forms provided by the Department. These items were

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

addressed to the Department’s satisfaction. The site continues to monitor stormwater quality as
required by the MSGP. Area 7 includes additional stormwater quality enhancement features.

Comment:

Putting a large pile of garbage in the ground to decompose will taint the underground water…and
there's a river next to the landfill to move the toxins downstream to other communities. (Comment 51)

Response:

Comment noted. See response below.

Comment:

The proponents of the landfill cite enhancements that will be made upon expansion to prevent
groundwater contamination and contamination of the adjacent Mohawk River. These enhancements
haven't been identified relative to the existing landfill, only upon expansion. It should be a requirement
that the environment be protected regardless of whether or not there is an expansion. (Commenter
112)

Comment:

The Hazardous waste pit …additional garbage be added on top of the existing hazardous material, this
will cause the hazardous material to be driven directly into the bedrock and groundwater. (Commenter
101)

Response:

Historic waste disposal areas (i.e., waste deposited prior to current regulations) at this facility and
others are monitored to determine if remedial actions are necessary to protect human health and the
environment. While localized groundwater impacts are present, they do not pose a risk to human
health and the environment Area 7 will be constructed with a double composite liner system.
Additionally, as described in Section 2.5.3 of the DEIS, approximately 37 acres of the double liner
construction would overlay existing waste areas, and with the reduction in recharge, existing water
quality is anticipated to improve over time.

There are no documented impacts to the Mohawk River under current landfill operations and, as
discussed in Section 2.5.3 of the DEIS, the development of Area 7 will reduce infiltration of precipitation
through historic waste from an estimated 100 gal/acre/day to near zero, thereby reducing observed
impacts to groundwater that subsequently discharges to the Mohawk River. While localized
groundwater impacts are present, they do not pose a risk to human health and the environment. With
development of Area 7, the observed impacts would be reduced.

Comment:

The landfill expansion depends on overfilling wastes and placing additional liners onto a patch work of
unsuitable areas in an unsuitable environmental setting with varied histories of expansions which were
never the subject of Public Hearings or critical Public Review. The unsuitable areas includes; a twenty
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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

five acre portion of an un-remediated hazardous waste site, areas with waste in groundwater, areas
with liners placed in groundwater, areas with no lining, areas with potentially leaking clay bottom liners
and former waste areas with no underlying clay. (Commenter 51)

Response:

There are no documented impacts to the Mohawk River under current landfill operations and as
discussed in Section 2.5.3 of the DEIS, development of Area 7 will reduce infiltration of precipitation
through historic waste from an estimated 100 gal/acre/day to near zero, thereby reducing observed
impacts to groundwater that subsequently discharges to the Mohawk River. While localized
groundwater impacts are present, they do not pose a risk to human health and the environment. With
development of Area 7, the observed impacts would be reduced. The 1.9(g) Report (Appendix J to the
FEIS) demonstrates that the proposed Area 7 Development will neither interfere significantly with any
potential, ongoing, or completed remedial program at the Class 3 Inactive Hazardous Waste site, nor
expose the environment or public health to a significantly increased threat of harm.
Comment:

Environmental Setting; The Mohawk River is a Class A Water Source and the site is also over the
Schenectady-Niskayuna Sole Source Aquifer. The 2016 Environmental Assessment Report,
Attachment 2 to the Engineering Report, documents extensively that the site groundwater is
contaminated above standards and that “all three landfill site water bearing zones flow into the Mohawk
River”. (Commenter 51)

Response:

The referenced mapping of the sole source aquifer is of a large scale and provides an approximate
extent of the Aquifer that must then be confirmed by evaluation of the Site-specific geology. As
specifically addressed in Section 2.5 of the Site Investigation Report (Attachment 2 to the FEIS), the
geologic deposits underlying the Site are inconsistent with a productive aquifer. There are documented
groundwater impacts to the Upper and Intermediate Water-Bearing Zones likely associated with the
historical waste deposition. However, there are no documented impacts to the Mohawk River.
Development of Area 7 will significantly reduce infiltration (estimated reduction from 100 gal/acre/day to
near zero) into wastes that were disposed of prior to current regulations with an anticipated
improvement in overall groundwater quality.

Comment:

The landfill expansion will be placing additional wastes and liners on areas where the area being
capped over has a bottom liner placed in groundwater making the expanded landfill potentially unstable
and raising concerns regarding leakage into site groundwater. (Commenter 51)

Response:

The FEIS and Engineering Report provides significant information on the limits of the existing facility,
waste and groundwater. There are no documented impacts to the Mohawk River under current landfill
operations and as discussed in Section 2.5.3 of the DEIS, development of Area 7 will reduce infiltration
of precipitation through historic waste from an estimated 100 gal/acre/day to near zero, thereby
reducing localized impacts to groundwater that subsequently discharges to the Mohawk River. While
localized groundwater impacts are present, they do not pose a risk to human health and the
environment. With development of Area 7, these impacts would be reduced.

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

The stability analyses described in Section 5.10 of the Engineering Report take into account the
groundwater conditions at the site and the analyses conclude that the facility is stable and meets
NYSDEC design requirements for stability. As discussed in Section 2.5.2 of the FEIS, historic waste
disposal areas (i.e., waste deposited prior to current regulations) at this facility and others are
monitored to determine if remedial actions are necessary to protect human health and the environment.
While localized groundwater impacts are present, they do not pose a risk to human health and the
environment. With development of Area 7, the observed impacts would be reduced. Development of
Area 7 will significantly reduce infiltration (estimated reduction from 100 gal/acre/day to near zero) into
wastes that were disposed of prior to current regulations with an anticipated improvement in overall
groundwater quality.

Comment:

Groundwater samples were not collected from Bedrock Wells for evaluation in the Environmental
Assessment Report. (Commenter 51)
Response:

As described in Section 4.3.4 of the Site Investigation Report (SIR), groundwater originating from the
waste areas will flow within the Upper and Intermediate water-bearing zones with no mechanism to
enter the underlying Lower Bedrock water-bearing zone. The results of the most recent investigation
continue to support the conclusions presented from prior investigations and there is no technical basis
for sampling the underlying bedrock.

Comment:

Based upon the contour map figures in the FEIS for top of bedrock, upper and intermediate
groundwater zone contour maps that a large portion of the preferential groundwater flow would be
directed through Area 1 and the Unnamed Area constituting the Inactive hazardous waste site.
(Commenter 51)

Response:

Review of the referenced potentiometric surface maps indicates that the groundwater contours
generally parallel the Mohawk River and do not provide any indication of preferentially directing
groundwater flow through Area 1 and the Unnamed Area. While there is groundwater flow under these
areas, the potentiometric contours provide no evidence of “preferential groundwater flow” through these
areas.

Comment:

Environmental Impact - Floodplain - The FEIS provides conflicting information regarding floodplains. In
the EAF (section E.2.i), the project site is declared to not be in a designated floodway. However, the
Engineering Report states that “Detailed analysis of the flood maps, as seen in Figure 4-1, indicate the
limits of the 100-year flood plain will overlap with the project limits at the northeast corner of the Site”.
Additionally, Figure 2-4B of the FEIS, entitled “Flood Boundary Detail” show and state “0.04 acres of fill
in flood zone” as well as “0.03 acres of fill in flood zone” along the eastern boundary of the project area.
Even if total acreage within the floodplain is small (less than 1 acre) in size, the fact remains that the
documentation for this project is inconsistent and contradictory. (Commenter 90)

Response:

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

The information provided in the FEIS is correct. The floodway and 100-year flood plain have different
definitions. The floodplain, which is a boundary on either side of a channel, shows the approximate
location of a 100-year storm event based upon existing topography. The floodway is a boundary on
either side of a channel which will show the boundary of a 100-year flood where the existing topography
within the floodplain has been filled enough to cause a one-foot rise of water surface elevation in the
channel as compared to the floodplain elevation. Development is correctly described in Engineering
Report Sections 4.1 and 5.12, Engineering Report Figure 4-1, DEIS Sections 2.4.2 and 3.2 as within
the floodplain (also referred to as the flood zone), but not the floodway. These sections of the report
also describe how the development can appropriately proceed with the limited fill within the flood zone.
More specifically, Section 4.1 of the Engineering Report describes the relatively small limits and
impacts of the floodplain encroachment by an access road (not waste placement), the turf
reinforcement mat that would be used to stabilize soils exposed to the 100-year flood, and the process
by which the encroachment is allowed and permitted by the Town acting as the flood plain
administrator.

Comment:

It is unknown how the landfill will impact the Mohawk River nearby. With all the new development there
will be additional runoff water drainable into the Mohawk. The removal of these natural flood barriers
has increased the risk for flooding to an unknown level. (Commenter 30)

Response:

Stormwater management and retention will also be improved so that there will be no increase to the
peak discharge exiting the development and extended stormwater retention will further reduce
suspended solids. The management of stormwater at the site is described in more detail in Section
5.12 of the Engineering Report.

The Engineering Report also outlines in detail the limited nature of the general site fill (not waste) that
would be placed in the floodplain, why it is acceptable, and how the limited impacts are mitigated. More
specifically, Section 4.1 of the Engineering Report describes the relatively small limits and impacts of
the floodplain encroachment by an access road (not waste placement), the turf reinforcement mat that
would be used to stabilize soils exposed to the 100-year flood, and the process by which the
encroachment is allowed and permitted under floodplain management regulations.

Comment:

Water tests have also been ignored by the landfill. (Commenter 134)

Response:

Groundwater quality at the landfill is well understood and well documented. Water quality monitoring is
performed and documented quarterly and then summarized in Annual Groundwater Monitoring Reports
submitted by the Town to the Department. Additionally, historic waste disposal areas (i.e., waste
deposited prior to current regulations) at this facility (as part of the Environmental Monitoring program
from the existing landfill) are currently monitored to determine if remedial actions are necessary to
protect human health and the environment.

Comment:

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

Groundwater Issues - There has not been PFOA testing of the contaminated groundwater.
(Commenters 53, 102)

Response:

There is no evidence that Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was disposed of at the site. Historic waste
disposal areas (i.e., waste deposited prior to current regulations) at this facility and others are
monitored for known contaminants to determine if remedial actions are necessary to protect human
health and the environment. While localized groundwater impacts are present, they do not pose a risk
to human health and the environment. With the development of Area 7, these localized impacts would
be reduced as discussed throughout this document. Additionally, the City of Cohoes, while not required
to test for PFOA, has analyzed its supply water for PFOA. As reported in the Annual Water Quality
Report for 2015 for the City of Cohoes (Public Water Supply Identification Number NY0100192),
samples were collected and analyzed quarterly in 2013 and found to be less than the detection limit of
20 parts per trillion (ppt) at that time. Another sample was collected in March 2016 and analyzed and
PFOA was estimated to have a very small concentration of 2.3 ppt. The current US Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) advisory standard is 100 ppt. The concentration of PFOA in the Cohoes
water supply is 50 times lower than the advisory standard.

Comment 1:

Proposal is against DEC policy that would no longer allow landfills to be cited alongside of rivers in New
York.

Comment 2:

Why is it not acceptable for people to camp next to rivers and streams but the Town of Colonie is
permitted to allow the dumping of tons of wastes every week day only a few feet from the Mohawk
River? (Commenter 32)

Response:

As discussed in Section 4.1 of the Engineering Report, the development meets the regulatory
separation distances from the Mohawk River. 6 NYCRR 360-2.12(c)(i)] state, “…except as provided in
subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, no new landfill and no lateral or vertical expansion of an existing
landfill may be constructed over primary water supply aquifers, principal aquifers, within a public water
supply stabilized cone of depression area, or within a minimum distance of 100 feet to surface waters
that are actively used as sources of municipal supply. Subsection (iii) of the same section states,
“…The required horizontal separation between deposited solid waste, and primary water supply
aquifers, principal aquifers, public water supply stabilized cone of depression areas, or surface waters
that are actively used as sources of municipal supply must be sufficient.” The limits of the proposed
deposited waste area will be 500 feet from the Mohawk River and the landfill components that have
been proposed are a similar distance to the existing landfill components from the river

Comment:

2.2.4 Three Dimensional Patterns of Groundwater Flow. The Report inappropriately claims
contamination impacts indicated by the wells is localized and doesn’t reflect the overall groundwater
quality. The inference is that areas without wells are uncontaminated for which of course non-existing
data can’t substantiate. This is compounded by the fact that the well spacing for monitoring protection
of the River does not meet the requirements of part 360 Regulations. (Commenter 51)
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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

Response:

No inference was intended with respect to water quality in areas without wells. The term “localized”
refers to groundwater impacts attributable to historic portions of the landfill that are not constructed in
accordance with current Part 360 regulatory requirements for double composite liner systems. With
respect to well spacing, it is assumed that the comment is referring to the regulatory requirement for
installation of monitoring wells along the downgradient edge of a solid waste facility at a spacing of 500
feet or less. Consistent with the Environmental Monitoring Plan, this spacing will be met along the
downgradient perimeter of the facility as the facility is constructed. However, as part of the Site
Investigation, a representative number of monitoring wells were installed to characterize existing water
quality and there was no specific well spacing requirement in the regulations for the site investigation.

Comment:

2.3 Critical Stratigraphic Section. This section identifies that the upper and intermediate water bearing
zones would be adequate for monitoring purposes. However, given the clear lack of consistency in the
confining layers over the bedrock, bedrock wells should have been tested to demonstrate that. If the
intent of well placement was to demonstrate there is no contamination flow to the River, the well
spacing should have at least met the requirements of part 360 Regulations. (Commenter 51)

Response:

As described in Sections 4.6.1 and 4.6.2 of the Site Investigation Report, the Critical Stratigraphic
Section is not based on the presence or absence of confining layers over the bedrock. Rather, it is
based on the more than two orders of magnitude difference in hydraulic conductivity of the Lower
Bedrock water bearing zone as compared to the overlying Intermediate water bearing zone. The
decision to identify the Critical Stratigraphic Section as inclusive of the Upper and Intermediate water
bearing zones is both consistent with historical interpretation and well established hydrogeologic
principles. As stated in response to a prior comment, the Environmental Monitoring Plan (Attachment 3
of the Engineering Report) calls for the installation of additional wells as needed to meet the Part 360
Regulations.

Comment:

3.2 Closure and Capping – Class 3 Site. The DEIS plan which includes and relies upon approval for
filling and/or disturbing this area results in a massively expanded landfill with significant new footprint
and structure build. The effect of adding hundreds of feet of additional waste and cover compressing
the lower strata including unlined contaminated fill in groundwater will undoubtedly increase threats to
the environment and health risks including the River, wetland and forested areas, the quantification of
which and pathways for which have not been adequately characterized. (Commenter 51)

Response:

Comment noted.

Comment:

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

Excavation within the hazardous waste site will most likely result in excavation in groundwater. Since
this groundwater is in direct communication with the Mohawk River uncontrolled excavation of this type
should not be allowed. Some type of engineering control for dewatering with appropriate sampling and
disposal or other protection from the spread of contamination must be provided. (Commenter 51)

Response:

Comment noted.

Comment:

The proposal for monitoring the impacts from this portion of the 24 acre haz waste site is basically only
from two well pairs and the existing well CW-5. This is an insufficient number of monitoring locations
given the drastic change in material being overlain onto this site. The additional 25 some acres to the
north of Area 1, also part of the inactive hazardous waste site is not being monitored. Monitoring wells
by themselves are not sufficient to ensure protection to the bordering Mohawk River Class A drinking
water source. (Commenter 51)
Response:

Area 7 will reduce the risk to groundwater that subsequently discharges to the Mohawk River. There
are no documented impacts to the Mohawk River under current conditions and as discussed in Section
2.5.3 of the DEIS, development of Area 7 will reduce infiltration of precipitation through historic waste
from an estimated 100 gal/acre/day to near zero, thereby reducing observed impacts to groundwater
that subsequently discharges to the Mohawk River. While localized groundwater impacts are present,
they do not pose a risk to human health and the environment. With development of Area 7, the
observed impacts would be reduced. The 1.9(g) Report (Appendix J to the FEIS) demonstrates that the
proposed Area 7 Development will neither interfere significantly with any potential, ongoing, or
completed remedial program at the Class 3 Inactive Hazardous Waste site, nor expose the
environment or public health to a significantly increased threat of harm.

Comment:

The 2016 Environmental Assessment Report, Attachment 2 to the DEIS Engineering Report, indicates
that the groundwater is contaminated and that all three landfill site water bearing zones flow into the
Mohawk River. Groundwater samples were not collected from Bedrock Wells for evaluation in the
Environmental Assessment Report due to the reason “these locations are identified in the currently
approved EMSAP as contingency sampling locations”. This is in spite of the fact the NYSDEC has
issued Notice of Violations regarding contamination in areas that drain into the Mohawk River and/or
adjacent wetlands. Additionally, the studies recommended in the 1992 URS Phase II Inactive
Hazardous Waste Site Investigation to determine potential impacts to the Mohawk River were never
conducted. (Comment 51)

Response:

The NYSDEC issued a NOV on December 10, 2015 related to stormwater quality and reporting
requirements under the site’s stormwater discharge coverage under MSGP 0-12-001 and unrelated to
groundwater contamination. The NOV required implementation of water quality best management
practices, an update to the site SWPPP, and resubmittal of prior reported results on forms provided by
the Department. These items were completed to the Departments satisfaction. The site continues to
monitor stormwater quality as required by the MSGP. It should be noted that the Area 7 Development
includes additional stormwater quality enhancement features that will be constructed when the Area 7
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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

Development is approved. As stated in response to a prior comment bedrock wells were not tested
based upon technical assessment of groundwater flow and the critical stratigraphic section. Finally, the
recommendation for additional studies was from a third-party consultant and were not accepted by the
NYSDEC as a required element of the ongoing monitoring of the site. Furthermore, these studies are
not relevant to Area 7.

Comment:

This section goes on to state; “In the event that a detected release requires remediation, the site
hydrology is sufficiently characterized such that applicable remedial actions can be evaluated, selected
and implemented as needed.” Again, what is not sufficiently characterized is how much of an impact,
quantitatively, the landfill is having on the kame and shale aquifers, and ultimately on the Mohawk
River. In addition, the groundwater flow regime is not known in sufficient detail to positively identify all
possible downgradient receptors of contaminants from the inactive landfill. (Commenter 51)

Response:

It is not the objective of the Site Investigation Report or the 1.9(g) Report to serve as a Remedial
Investigation of the historical waste site. This objective was completed by others (i.e. the URS Report).
Rather, the objective of the recent Site Investigation and 1.9(g) Reports were to sufficiently
characterize the hydrogeology underlying the Site to identify the Critical Stratigraphic Section, identify
groundwater flow direction, identify groundwater/surface water use, establish existing water quality for
assessment as part of the environmental monitoring plan and to assess if construction of the Area 7
Development area would impact the ability to implement remedial actions associated with the Class 3
Waste Site. These objectives have been met and the conclusions indicate that the proposed expansion
can be constructed without interference to or from the adjacent Class 3 site.

Comment:

The applicant should be required to identify the full extent of the alluvium because communication of
ground water beneath the landfill with the river water is critical, particularly since the northern extent of
the landfill waste mass, the "old dump", is unlined. Boring logs reveal that the waste mass lies directly
on the alluvium with no separation. The old dump is within the groundwater table as evidenced by the
monitoring wells and Cornerstone calculation sheets. The applicant should be required to fully identify
the extent of the alluvium as it relates to the river. They should then design and install a cut off that will
cease this communication and prevent the flow of leachate into the Mohawk River. Without a proper
cutoff, leachate from the old unlined dump will continue to seep into the river. (Commenter 44)

Response:

The hydrogeological conditions at the site are adequately addressed in the SIR (Sections 4.1 through
4.6) for Area 7.

Comment:

The groundwater within the unlined old waste mass, its placement on the highly permeable alluvial
layer, and the probable communication with the nearby Mohawk River is an environmental disaster,
which is preventable. The additional load of the new waste over the unlined waste mass will cause
immediate increase in pore water pressure within the old unlined waste. This increased pore pressure
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will dissipate by drainage through the alluvium layer and ultimately into the river. This will occur for
years as the weight of the new waste mass increases. A hydrogeologic study should be performed to
study this problem.

Also there is no discussion in the Cornerstone reports of whether there is a natural flow of groundwater
in the alluvium toward the river. It is well known that groundwater level rises up from the shoreline of a
water body. Due to the increased head of the rising water table, there is natural flow of groundwater
toward the water body. Based on my knowledge of the local geology and hydrogeology it is
recommended that the applicant be required to complete a rigorous investigation and report the local
geology and hydrogeology and how it will be affected by the proposed expansion. The report of this
investigation should be reviewed by a qualified geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering firm.
(Commenter 44)

Response:

The subsurface soils, rock, and groundwater conditions are presented and summarized in the Site
Investigation Report (SIR) that is included in the Engineering Report as Attachment 2. As noted in the
SIR, the groundwater at this site includes the upper, intermediate, and lower water bearing zones. The
upper water bearing zone includes the surficial glacial tills, lacustrine silt and clay, and the isolated
alluvium deposit while the intermediate water bearing zone is located at the glacial soil bedrock contact.
Groundwater flows are predominantly vertical through the overburden in the upper water bearing zone
with horizontal flows occurring in the intermediate water bearing zone. Any potential releases would be
expected to migrate horizontally within these zones and not in the lower water bearing zone located in
the bedrock. The upper water bearing zone is the zone that is monitored at the site. While there have
been historic, localized impacts to the groundwater from the Class 3 Site, the proposed development is
not anticipated to further impact the water quality, including that of the Mohawk River. Continued and
increased groundwater monitoring is proposed in this area of the site.

Comment:

The Cornerstone documents are difficult to follow. The input for the slope stability runs needs to be
provided so it can be examined to determine that the runs are correct and suitable for the appropriate
design cases. The equations utilized in the spread sheets should be spelled out to allow checking of the
design intent and calculations within the spread sheets. The documents are not well organized.
Narrative explaining the spread sheets and slope stability analyses is lacking or non-existing. There
were multiple Figure l's included in the documents adding to confusion. There is conflicting data in the
May 5th and January 28th letters. There are math errors in the spread sheets. Copied text book pages
are not properly cited. Predicted settlement magnitudes due to liquefaction are stated differently in the
documents. The backup data and calculation sheets should be included with proper citations. The
equations used in the spread sheets should be fully cited and explained with a series of sample
calculations. NYS DEC should require corrections of the errors, clarifications of ambiguities, and
issuance of a new report. (Commenter 44)

Response:

The comment noted.

Comment:

Environmental Impacts Inland Waterways - Section B.i.i of the EAF states that the project site is not
within a Coastal Area, or the waterfront area of a Designated Inland Waterway. However, the Mohawk
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River, which abuts the expansion area, is a Designated Inland Waterway per NYS Law Executive
Article 42: (910-923). The Declaration of policy (Section § 912.) identifies sixteen (16) policies the State
declares regarding inland waterways and coastal areas. (Commenter 90)

Response:

Comment Noted. There would be no significant impacts to the Mohawk River as a result of the
proposed development. There is no development proposed on the properties that abut the Mohawk
River and the limited amount of fill that is proposed within the flood plain will not impact the flood plain
as described in Section 4.1 of the Engineering Report.

Noise

Comment:

In Assessing and Mitigating Noise Impacts, the New York State Department of Environmental
Conservation (NYSDEC) states that in “non-industrial settings, the [sound pressure level] SPL should
probably not exceed ambient noise by more than 6 dB(A) at the receptor. An increase of 6 dB(A) may
cause complaints.” Following NYSDEC procedures, the SPL increase is determined by comparing the
future noise level to ambient noise levels at the receptor of interest. The future noise level is “the
ambient noise level plus the noise level from the new or proposed source.” The DEIS does not follow
the procedures established by the NYSDEC to determine the SPL increase. (Commenter 6)

Response:

The Sound Pressure Levels (SPLs) associated with the project have been updated and can be seen in
Table 1 of the supplemental noise assessment information provided in Appendix D of the FEIS. Table
1, which is an updated version of Table 2-2 found in the DEIS, presents calculated projected SPLs at
the monitoring locations with the background (ambient noise level) and operational (new sources) noise
inputs included in accordance with the NYSDEC guidance on Assessing and Mitigating Noise Impacts
(rev. 2001)(NYSDEC Noise Guidance). Data from the existing operations was used to project the
expected Leq sound levels away from the landfill that would be expected when operations were
occurring at the limits of the landfill at any given time, as these would represent times when potential
noise sources would be closest to receptors. These SPLs were added to the existing ambient
conditions to determine the expected conditions when operations were occurring around the facility in
the future.

Background ambient conditions were determined using SPL measurements prior to the start of
operations and by calculating background sound levels unrelated to any contributions from the landfill
operations during the survey. Sound levels at Locations 2, 3, 4, and 7 had no contribution from
operations due to distance from the working face and the elevated SPLs related to traffic noise. Other
locations, such as Location 5, in the vicinity of the proposed new entrance on Arrowhead Lane and
Locations 8 and 9 on the opposite bank of the Mohawk River, had ambient conditions of 0 to 0.7 dBA
lower than the Leq measured during the survey at these locations.

6 NYCRR 360.19(j) states that sound levels at the property boundaries of the facility must not exceed
the suburban daytime standard of 62 dBA, unless the ambient level is higher, in which case the facility
must not produce a Leq exceeding the ambient Leq. As shown on Table 1, in those areas where traffic
on Route 9 results in ambient SPL conditions greater than 62 dBA, the sound levels generated by
landfill operations are less than 62 dBA, and any resulting increase in SPLs are less than 0.5 dBA over
the existing conditions, well below the 3 dBA identified in the NYSDEC Noised Guidance on the
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evaluation of potential noise impacts as having an appreciable effect on receptors. None of the
locations along Route 9 where existing and background Leq SPLs are above 62 dBA are projected to
have SPL increases greater than 0.4 dBA when operations associated with the landfill are closest. In
those areas where landfill operations are projected to have SPLs greater than 62 dBA, the use of a
berm and temporary sound barriers will mitigate the potential sound impacts in the southwest portion of
the landfill. A discussion of the use of the temporary sound barriers is provided in this response.

Comment 1:

Table 2-2 in the DEIS provides a summary of the measured ambient noise levels, as well as the
projected SPL from landfill operations. The tabulated results at Monitoring Location 6 at the Grace Bible
Church indicate that future operational noise levels from Area 7 would increase more than 6 dB(A)
above ambient noise levels; however, the DEIS does not recognize this as a potential impact. For the
sake of this comment, if we accept the projected SPL at Location 6 as shown in Table 2-2, the future
noise level (ambient plus new source) would range from 63.1 to 63.6 dB(A),1 corresponding to an
expected increase of 8 to 14 dB(A) above ambient noise levels. While the DEIS provides no specific
calculations for the two residential properties north of Grace Bible Church on the east side of Route 9, I
expect they would experience similar increases above ambient noise levels from the proposed landfill
operations.

Comment 2:

Figure 2-14 in the DEIS shows that the 65 dB(A) noise level contour interval extends beyond the
property line of the landfill onto two abutting residential properties, which are located east of Route 9,
just south of the storm water retention basin, and just north of the Grace Bible Church. For the sake of
this comment, if we accept the projected SPL contours shown in Figure 2-14, operational noise levels
would exceed the daytime limit for a suburban community at those residences. The daytime limit
contained in 6 NYCRR 360-1.14(p) is 62 dB(A).

Comment 3:

Several comments were raised regarding the maximum threshold noise levels outlined in 6 NYCRR
360-1.14(p) regarding the maximum noise levels at the facility property line at locations zoned or
authorized for residential use. Where background limits exceed the stated noise limits, the facility must
not produce Leq exceeding the documented background. The current noise regulations are found at 6
NYCRR 360.19(j) (Commenters 6, 90)

Response:

While the projected SPL at the Grace Bible Church property line is no greater than the SPLs that
occurred in this area when Area 6 was being filled in the vicinity of the property line (same activities as
Area 7) and, as stated in the FEIS, the calculations provided do not take into account the 10-foot high
perimeter berm which will reduce SPLs from operations when landfilling is occurring closest to the
property boundary, unlike during previous operations in this area. As a result, SPLs will likely be lower
at the property line than those experienced in in the past. However, it is recognized that the policy
indicates an SPL level greater than 62 dBA at the shared property line requires mitigation.

With regards to the two residential properties north of Grace Bible Church on the east side of Route 9,
calculations and a discussion of the potential SPL impacts on these properties are provided in Section
2.13.4 of the FEIS, in the second paragraph on page 78 where is was noted that the proposed Area 7
landfilling operations would result in less than a 3 dBA increase over previous SPLs when Area 6 was
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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

being filled. A 3 dBA increase is typically not a noticeable increase in sound levels. In addition, the 10-
foot high perimeter berm, the slope of the ground surface away from the facility, and the generally lower
elevations of the potential receptors were all identified as factors that would reduce the actual SPLs
over those calculated. Also, the Town has received no noise complaints from the residents of these 2
homes. Nonetheless, the policy indicates an SPL level greater than 62 dBA at the shared property line
requires mitigation.

Calculations using the operational SPLs and the distance to the property line in these areas identified
operation related SPLs above 62 dBA when operations were occurring in proximity to the property lines
in these areas. To ensure that SPLs from Area 7 operations would not exceed 62 dBA at the property
line of the facility, temporary sound reducing barriers would be used in the vicinity of the property
boundary and in the vicinity of the working face when operations are occurring in proximity to the
Church and residential properties such that potential SPLs above 62 dBA might occur from the
operations. The sound barriers are manufactured using acoustical composite materials that are
ultraviolet resistant and have a self-drying PVC outer shell that can be quickly positioned and moved as
necessary to provide a flexible noise control solution for changing operational locations that can provide
a SPL reduction of between 8 and 14 decibels. The barriers will be installed at the outside face of the
perimeter berm and installed on a wood frame. During the modeling of the effect of the sound barriers
on SPLs at the residential property lines, a reduction of 8dBA was used in the calculations. The use
and placement of the sound barriers would ensure sound levels at the property line from the Area 7
operations are not greater than 62 dBA. The location of the temporary barriers can be seen in Figure 3
which are those locations where operational sound levels at the property line have been projected to be
greater than 62 dBA and can be found in the supplemental noise assessment information in Appendix
D of the FEIS. The barriers would be temporary in nature and will be subject to relocation throughout
the life of the landfill, depending upon the location of operations.

Comment:

In general, the narrative in Section 2.13.4 “Potential Impacts” is hard to follow and somewhat confusing.
Without additional tables or figures that show the results of calculations at additional noise-sensitive
properties (i.e. at properties that were not part of the measurement program), it is difficult to verify the
conclusions in the DEIS that noise impacts due to development of Area 7 are not expected to occur.
(Commenter 6)

Response:

Table 1, presented in the supplemental noise assessment information (Appendix D of the FEIS),
includes projected combined SPLs from the Area 7 operation and the existing background conditions,
and Figure 1 more clearly identifies the limit of Area 7. Figure 1 also shows the projected SPLs absent
any sound control barriers. Appropriate mitigation is discussed in the response above which identifies
locations where landfill operations would result in SPLs greater than 62 dBA at residential property
lines, and the manner in which the proposed sound barriers will be installed to ensure compliance with
the sound level limitations contained in 6 NYCRR 360.19(j)

Comment:

The projected noise levels from the proposed Area 7 development are based on noise measurements
made at the face of the existing landfill. The DEIS states that a compactor, a bulldozer, a trailer tipper,
and waste delivery vehicles maneuvering and tipping waste were in operation at the time of the
measurement. It is not clear whether the reference source level used in the projections (74.5 dB(A) at a
distance of 50 feet from the working face of the landfill) is a reasonable estimate of the noise emanating
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from Area 7 development. How does this sound level account for future operations? Will the same
types and numbers of on-site equipment be utilized after the development of Area 7? What were the
locations of the equipment with respect to the sound level meter when the noise measurements were
made at the face of the existing landfill? The noise level projections in the DEIS do not appear to
account for an increased number of future truck movements (moving to tipping location, tipping, and
departing) on the site of the proposed Area 7 development. These activities should be modeled and
included in the noise assessment. (Commenter 6)

Response:

The proposed future operations in Area 7 are unchanged from current operations, with the same
quantity waste being accepted and the same equipment used during operations. The only difference
would be the locations where landfilling operations would occur, areas which in fact have been
locations where other heavy equipment operations have occurred previously, such as the composting
operation in the northern portion of the Site.

Comment 1:

The noise modeling conducted for the DEIS does not account for the elevations of on-site activities and
truck movements at different phases of the proposed Area 7 development.

Comment 2:

The much greater height of the Landfill may place noise sources well above noise attenuating
landforms and vegetation. This will allow sound energy to follow direct line of sight to receptor areas.
While total sound pressure levels may be within background conditions at more distant offsite locations,
certain sounds such as backup alarms, bird mitigation and truck tailgates may become very noticeable
at locations previously unaffected by the Landfill operations. Such should be evaluated by the DEIS.
(Commenter 6)

Response:

The SPL modeling does account for landfill operations and phases, including truck movements,
because the modeling assumes the applicable sources are active at the perimeter of the landfill and
projects only distance attenuation outward from the perimeter. This modeling approach is conservative
relative to elevations because it does not account for any attenuation other than lateral distance.
Distance attenuation increases as elevation changes. As the development progresses and waste
elevations increase, the distance from the property lines would also increase, thereby reducing the
noise levels presented in the model.

Comment:

It is my understanding that more than six (6) acres of trees will be removed as a result of the proposed
Area 7 development. The noise assessment should address the potential adverse effects that tree
removal will have on operational noise levels at affected noise-sensitive receptors. The noise prediction
modeling should quantity the effect of tree removal on computed operational noise levels. (Commenter
6)

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Response:

The SPLs calculated for the Area 7 Development did not account for any reduction in sound levels
other than from distance, with the exception of the wooded area west of the new entrance. Trees will
not be removed from this area. As such, the SPLs presented in the DEIS provide an accurate projection
of sound levels in areas where vegetation will be removed, and provide a conservative projection of
sound levels associated with the Area 7 development in those other areas where vegetation would not
be removed. Sound data from the existing operations was used to project the Leq sound levels that
would be expected when operations were occurring at the limits of the landfill and beyond at any given
time, as these would represent times when potential noise sources would be closest to potential
receptors. These SPLs were added to the ambient conditions to determine the expected conditions
when operations were occurring around the facility in the future. Part 360 states that sound levels from
the facility at the residential property boundaries with the facility must not exceed the suburban daytime
standard of 62 dBA, unless the ambient level is higher, in which case the facility must not produce a
Leq exceeding the ambient Leq. As shown on Table 1, in those areas where traffic on Route 9 results
in ambient SPL conditions greater than 62 dBA, the sound levels generated by landfill operations are
less than 62 dBA. Any resulting increase in SPLs are less than 0.5 dBA over the ambient conditions,
well below the 3 dBA identified in the NYSDEC Noise Guidance as having no appreciable effect on
receptors. In the areas of the southwest portion of the landfill where sound levels from operations are
projected to be greater than 62 dBA, temporary sound barriers will be used to mitigate exceedances
(thereby complying with the requirements of the Part 360 regulations) in these areas as discussed in a
response to Commenter 90 below.

Comment:

The DEIS does not address other potential sources of noise that can be causes of community
annoyance and complaints, including: the use of Jake brakes, tailgate banging, backup alarms, and
bird mitigation. The Operations and Maintenance Plan should address these issues, as well as on-
going adherence to the sound level limits in 6 NYCRR 360-1.14(p). (Commenter 6)

Response:

Tail gate banging, backup alarms, and bird mitigation activities were occurring during the
measurements made at the working face and at the various locations during operations. As such, these
sources were accounted for during the study.

Comment:

The existing operating landfill has been operated by CRL for several years. However, no operational
noise monitoring data or noise complaint log is provided in the application demonstrating that the
current operation is in accordance with 6 NYCRR 360-1.14(p). (Commenter 90)

Response:

Neither the Solid Waste regulations nor the landfill’s current permit require real time noise monitoring
for compliance with 6 NYCRR Part 360-1.14 (p). The noise documentation provided in the application is
complete. The facility keeps a Complaint Log. Five noise complaints have been registered since 2014.
No noise complaints were received in 2016. All of the complaints were related to the efforts to limit bird
activity at the working face and to backup alarms. In each instance the facility investigated the
complaint and took corrective action. Responding to complaints may include, if warranted, measuring
noise emissions to objectively determine if all noise sources at the landfill facility are in compliance, and
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if not, identifying further necessary corrective actions that may be needed. Most corrective actions to
date have resulted in an acknowledgement from the complainant that the levels complained about had
been lowered. The facility is obligated to keep sound levels to a minimum; however, backup alarms are
mandated by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Some of the backup alarms may
not be related to the facility, but rather to trucking operations or construction activity in the area.

Comment:

DEIS Figure 2-14 entitled “Projected SPL Contours” is misleading in that source area noise is not
presented at the limits of the proposed landfill for all perimeter locations. As a result, the resulting SPL
Contours are not accurate. (Commenter 90)

Response:

Figure 1, presented in the supplemental noise assessment information (Appendix D of the FEIS), more
clearly identifies the limit of Area 7. Figure 1 also shows the projected SPLs absent any sound control
barriers.

Comment:

Working face Leq is reported at 74.5 dB measured at 50 feet from the working face. The relative
location of the working equipment is not presented. When the working face is at perimeter locations
within the proposed expansion there will be minimal separation to the property line. Residential
properties along the west side of the expansion will be much closer to the working face than is currently
the case. Accordingly, a sound level of 74.5 dB at the working face will result in increased SPL at the
property line 100 feet away. This increased level will be substantially over the 62 dB maximum limit.
(Commenter 90)

Response:

As stated in the FEIS, sound levels would be above the 62 dB criteria short term when operations are
closest to the property lines in the vicinity of the Church and the two properties north of the Church. As
stated previously, temporary sound reducing barriers will be used in the vicinity of the property
boundary and in the vicinity of the working face when operations are occurring in the southwest portion
of Area 7. These sound barriers will be used when operations are in proximity to the Church and
residential properties such that potential SPLs above 62 dBA would be expected from the operations.
The use and placement of the sound barriers will ensure sound levels at the property line from the Area
7 operations are not greater than 62 dBA.

Calculations using the operational SPLs and the distance to the property line in these areas identified
operation related SPLs above 62 dBA when operations were occurring in proximity to the property lines
in these areas. To ensure that SPLs from Area 7 operations in appropriate areas would not exceed 62
dBA at the property line of the facility, temporary sound reducing barriers would be used in the vicinity
of the property boundary and in the vicinity of the working face when operations are occurring in
proximity to the Church and residential properties such that potential SPLs above 62 dBA might occur
from the operations. The sound barriers are manufactured using acoustical composite materials that
are ultraviolet resistant and have a self-drying PVC outer shell that can be quickly positioned in place
and moved as necessary to provide a flexible noise control solution for changing operational locations
that can provide a SPL reduction of between 8 and 14 decibels. The barriers will be installed at the
outside face of the perimeter berm and installed on a wood frame. During the modeling of the effect of
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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

the sound barriers on SPLs at the residential property lines, a reduction of 8dBA was used in the
calculations. The use and placement of the sound barriers would ensure sound levels at the property
line from the Area 7 operations are not greater than 62 dBA. The location of the temporary barriers can
be seen in Figure 3 which are those locations where operational sound levels at the property line have
been projected to be greater than 62 dBA and can be found in the supplemental noise assessment
information in Appendix D of the FEIS. The barriers would be temporary in nature and will be subject to
relocation throughout the life of the landfill, depending upon the location of operations.

Comment:

Sound Impact - Every morning at 6 AM we can hear trucks and equipment rumbling at the landfill. I am
assuming that this may be the time the employees start moving around the garbage and dirt. We can
hear the noise inside of our home. (Commenter 34)

Response:

Workers at the landfill are scheduled to start at 6:30 AM and landfilling operations start at 7AM. There
are several other industrial facilities (e.g., Safety Kleen which is a RCRA TSD facility, ABF which is a
freight trucking company, and a school bus maintenance facility) between the commenter and the
landfill that are part of an active industrial park unassociated with the landfill that generate noise prior to
6:30 AM.

Comment:

Besides the damage to the roads, there is increased truck noise from acceleration up the hill.
(Commenter 48)

Response:

It is not clear what roads or traffic patterns are being referred to in this comment. Because there are no
proposed changes in the incoming waste rates with the development, there is no proposed increase in
the loading to the road system (either from a traffic or structural perspective) and no proposed increase
in noise. The traffic impacts are described in more detail in Section 2.10 and Appendix G of the DEIS.

Comment:

I am also tired of hearing gunfire to scatter the birds and tired of listening to the backup beeps of trucks
dropping off their trash. (Commenter 104)

Response:

Sound levels will remain similar to the present conditions, with the exception of minor short-term
increases at three property lines adjacent to the southwest portion of Area 7. Projected exceedances of
the 62 dBA criteria at residential property lines along the southwest portion of the landfill will be
mitigated with the use of temporary sound barriers moved into position as needed. In consultation with
the Department, the facility uses various pyrotechnics as needed to address birds at the working face
and backup alarms are mandated on trucks and heavy equipment by OSHA. CRL will evaluate the use
of alternative alarms for their trucks and heavy equipment.

Odors/Air

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Comment 1:

Several general comments related to odor, odor mitigation and odor response procedures were
presented.

Comment 2:

DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (DEIS) - 6. Page 70 indicates that odor complaint
trends are downward, but has this continued since the publication of Table 2-1 (Table 2-1 shows
statistics for 2012, 2013, and 2014)? Can this table be supplemented with additional, more recent
statistics? The DEIS seems dated and additional statistics may support or refute the conclusion that
there is a downward trend.

Comment 3:

Environmental Impacts Air Emissions and Odor Control - Detailed comments regarding air emissions,
associated air emissions, permitting and odor control developed by Epsilon Associates, Inc. are
provided as Attachment 5. In addition, the application and DEIS do not include a summary of odor
complaints or a copy of the odor complaint log. Due to the level of citizen comments at recent public
hearings regarding the Area 7 Development, it is clear the facility has a significant and persistent odor
problem. The NYSDEC must require the applicant to develop an odor control program, and proven
contingency measures, to be implemented when odor complaints are received.

(Commenters 85, 116, 91, 135, 70, 34, 20, 134, 46, 101, 56, 60, 89, 22, 112, 106, 128, 63, 82, 39, 104,
12, 55, 37, 16, 123, 25, 62, 51, 143, 11, 35, 60, 83, 77, 74, 41, 48, 95, 129, 3, 68, 130)

Response:

The Department is aware of odor concerns and has required the applicant to submit an enhanced odor
management plan (Attachment 10 to the Engineering Report). Currently, odor complaints are received
through the Landfill Hotline (both phone and email) and a log is maintained to assist in the evaluation
and response to reported complaints. The number of odor complaints received between 2012 and
2014 are summarized by month in Table 2-1 of the DEIS. In the event that odors are detected off site,
the odor issue is investigated to verify that the landfill is causing the odor.

In addition to periodic inspections by NYSDEC staff and investigations of all odor complaints by landfill
staff, the facility will have a full-time monitor. Among the responsibilities of the monitor will be
determining causes of off-site odors, should they occur, and ensuring corrective measures are taken to
mitigate odors in a timely manner.

The most significant factors affecting odors, besides weather conditions, are the maintenance of the
working face and landfill gas (LFG) collection. The landfill minimizes the size of its working face and
currently employs odor control measures, such as an odor neutralizer in the vicinity of the existing
leachate lagoons and focused placement of landfill cover. Colonie Landfill maintains an active landfill
gas collection and control system (GCCS) comprised of horizontal collectors and vertical collection
wells connected by a header system and routed to either the on-site landfill gas to energy (LFGTE)
facility or a flare.

In late 2012 and early 2013, under an emergency authorization, the landfill accepted debris resulting
from Hurricane Sandy. The waste was placed in a relatively new area of the landfill which was not yet
required to have an active GCCS in place. Due to the nature of the material (i.e., high moisture and
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high proportion of waste drywall) unexpectedly rapid degradation began soon after placement and the
resulting LFG was particularly odorous (drywall decomposition creates hydrogen sulfide). This resulted
in off-site odors being identified in August 2013. LFG collectors were installed in this area and
connected to the GCCS in September 2013. The response was immediately effective in controlling
odors from the Hurricane Sandy debris. Maintenance of the active GCCS (including the equipment
added to respond to the odors related to the Hurricane Sandy debris) to collect and treat LFG has
proven to be an effective odor control measure. The total number of odor complaints in 2012 was 18
and the total in 2013 due to Hurricane Sandy waste was 59, as shown in Table E-1 in the supplemental
information provided in Appendix E of the FEIS.

In 2014 there were a total of 11 odor complaints. Most of the odors that were the subject of the
complaints were not detected upon investigation and were, therefore, considered unconfirmed,
transient conditions. One was related to the leachate lagoons and was corrected within two hours.
Two other complaints were related to LFG operations and were handled upon notification. Related to
the findings in 2014, CRL implemented several GCCS improvements in 2015 and 2016 to increase
LFG collection, including 11 vertical gas collection wells and over 2,000 feet of horizontal collector
pipes. Composting activities, which had been the source of some past odor concerns, have recently
ceased at the landfill site.

In 2015 and 2016, the facility received 32 and 34 odor notifications, respectively. Of these 66 total
notifications, 30 could be verified, and 7 contained information that the odor required the caller to take
significant action (e.g., close their windows). Of the seven notifications that required significant action,
two were related to burning debris (which is not performed at the landfill and came from off-site activity
of others), one was related to composting (which is no longer performed at the landfill) and one was
potentially attributable to a skunk. Between 2014 and 2016, only three significant odor notifications
were received. Notifications are typically received when weather events result in odors or when
unforeseen changes occur in operating conditions. Upon notification and verification of an off-site odor,
steps are taken to alter the operation or chemically neutralize the odors.

Attachment 10 of the Engineering Report includes a Landfill Gas Management and Odor Control Plan
(Odor Control Plan), which includes a detailed description of landfill gas/odor management and
monitoring procedures. The objective of the Odor Control Plan is to outline best management practices
(BMP’s) to be utilized at the Town of Colonie Landfill applying sound and consistent procedures for
managing the landfill gas system and assessing odors and/or odor notifications. The plan describes
procedures under which the Town would operate the Landfill Gas Collection system and that facility
personnel would use to identify and address odor issues at the Colonie Landfill. By implementing
proactive odor control measures, off-site odor may be mitigated through proper operational
management and continued efforts by the operator.

While many of the operational controls for managing odors are being implemented under the currently
approved site O&M Plan, under the Odor Control Plan that is being proposed as part of the Area 7
Development application, the facility would be required to:
 Implement a daily landfill odor patrol at locations specified in the Odor Control Plan
 Implement the procedures set forth in the Odor Control Plan for responding to and investigating
complaints, and communicating status with the complainant
 Evaluate the GCCS system annually and expand to follow waste placement
 Implement a formal notification response protocol

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

 Provide a weekly update of landfill gas odor related operations at the Town of Colonie Landfill
website (www.townofcolonielandfill.com). This will include a discussion about scheduled
interruptions to the landfill gas management system planned for the following week as well as
unplanned events that occurred during the prior week.

This approach is comparable to what the Department has required at other sites and it has been found
to be effective.

Comments:

Several general comments on air quality were presented. (Commenters 13, 76, 65, 74, 102)

Response:

As described in Section 2.11 of the FEIS, Area 7 would be a continuation of current waste placement
operations at the landfill, and therefore, there would not be any new air quality impacts. The active
GCCS would continue to be expanded and upgraded as is the current practice as portions of the landfill
site are built out. The Town has submitted an application to the Department for a minor modification of
its Title V Permit to account for the proposed Project footprint changes and removal of the composting
facility as an emission source.

Comment:

PART 360 APPLICATION – ATTACHMENT 5 – OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE PLAN - 1. The


Engineering Report addresses dust control during construction in Section 5.12.5.3 but the Operations
and Maintenance Plan does not address dust control during routine operation. (Commenter 21)

Response:

Dust control measures are described in the Operations and Maintenance Plan for the development
which can be found in Attachment 5 to the Engineering Report. More specifically, Appendix B -
Contingency Plan, Section 9 of the Operations and Maintenance Plan indicated that dust would be
controlled by spraying water on areas generating dust. Additionally, the site Storm Water Pollution
Prevention Plan (SWPPP) (Attachment 9 to the Engineering Report) indicates that soil
materials/particles that accumulate on the pavement would be swept up and removed routinely. In
addition, the SWPPP states that landfill staff will routinely wet down the access roads, using a water
truck with a spray bar, to reduce the fugitive dust emissions created as a result of vehicle traffic.

Comment:

Several comments were received regarding the Landfill gas to energy (LFGTE) engine plant, not being
included in the document under Part 360 application and DEIS page 67 and that the operation and
maintenance of the LFGTE plant is related to the operation of the landfill and its emissions have an
impact on the surrounding air quality. In addition, LFGTE plant demands for sufficient or preferred
methane content of the landfill gas can have an impact on the degree of vacuum used to extract the
landfill gas, and thus can affect fugitive air emissions and odor impacts from the landfill. The landfill
and the LFGTE facility may be subject to a single source determination based on recent USEPA
precedents and initiatives. See Item 3 regarding Part 360 Application – Attachment 5 (Commenters 21
and 117)

Response:
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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

The regulations at 6 NYCRR Part 200.1(aa) do not consider the landfill and the Landfill Gas to Energy
(LFGTE) facility a single source. The Department has reviewed the air application for the landfill
facility, has deemed it complete, and issued a draft permit to the landfill facility in August 2016 for public
comment. The facility has an independent flare and the LFGTE has no impact on the landfills ability to
control fugitive emissions and associated odors.

As described in the O&M plan for the Area 7 (Section 10.1 of Attachment 5 to the Engineering Report),
the LFGTE facility is owned and operated by Innovative Energy Systems (IES). Under typical
operation, the IES blowers provide vacuum to the collection system and deliver the collected gas to the
IES engines. The LFGTE facility engine capacity (four CAT 3520 engines) is approximately 1,960 scfm.
LFG is collected through a series of vertical and horizontal collectors placed in the waste mass, and
connections to the leachate cleanouts. The collectors are interconnected by a conveyance pipe which
conveys the collected LFG to a perimeter header which leads to the blower/flare station or the LFGTE
facility for combustion, in order to control air emissions and landfill gas odors. Valve adjustments at the
collection points are necessary to extract the maximum amount of LFG while maintaining good gas
quality and minimizing air infiltration. Due to the complex nature of LFG generation, ongoing
adjustments are typically needed to maximize the collection system’s effectiveness and balance the
system. Increasing the vacuum at a collection point typically causes the flow to increase, methane
concentration to decrease, and the oxygen and balance gas (nitrogen) concentrations to increase.
Decreasing the vacuum generally results in the opposite effect. Each valve is adjusted to the maximum
flow rate possible while maintaining the gas quality, temperature, and static pressure within the
specified target ranges.

The flare and blower at the landfill are used to supplement the LFGTE facility when needed and during
downtime of an engine at that facility or as a backup to the LFGTE facility during downtime of that entire
facility. During LFGTE facility downtime, the flow to the flare will automatically increase to maintain
vacuum to the GCCS if the flare is already in operation. If the flare is not already operating, the blower
and flare are started using the automatic startup procedure described above. If flare startup is due to
unplanned downtime of the LFGTE facility, landfill personnel respond to notification by IES within 1
hour (typical response during business hours is approximately 10 minutes).

The LFGTE facility is sized appropriately to utilize the projected maximum gas flow from the existing
and proposed landfill and the landfill flare provides additional capacity to the system ensuring all of the
excess landfill gas that is collected is combusted.

Comment:

PART 360 APPLICATION – ATTACHMENT 5 – OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE PLAN - 4.


Section 10.2 indicates that landfill gas migration will be monitored in select portions of the landfill and
“personnel should routinely monitor for odors on a daily basis during operations.” Landfill gas
monitoring can also include periodic surface emissions monitoring (SEM) for proactive detection of gas
collection and control system (GCCS) malfunction and potential for migration of air emissions and
odors. SEM may be optional or quarterly SEM may be required under air regulatory requirements (40
CFR 60 Subparts WWW or XXX). The potential applicability of Subparts WWW or XXX are discussed
further in conjunction with the Title V permit application review comments. (Commenter 21)

Response:

The landfill is currently not subject to the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfill New Source
Performance Standards (NSPS) monitoring requirements, and therefore, is not required to conduct
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Surface Emissions Monitoring (SEM). With the Area 7 development the landfill becomes subject to
NSPS Subpart XXX. The facility will comply with applicable requirements.

In the March 13, 2018 letter from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the NYSDEC, as part
of its Title V 45-day review, requested that the Department insert a permit condition reiterating that the
requirements that 40 CFR Part XXX will apply to this landfill expansion. The Title V permit for the
landfill will contain a condition that will require the Town to apply for the Part XXX permit modification as
required.

Comment:

PART 360 APPLICATION – ATTACHMENT 10 – LANDFILL GAS MANAGEMENT AND ODOR


CONTROL PLAN - 2. Section 2.6 does not include SEM as routine monitoring. See Item 4 regarding
Part 360 Application – Attachment 5, above. (Commenter 21)

Response:

A Surface Emissions Monitoring (SEM) program is not currently required for the Area 7 development
because the project is not subject to Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) landfill New Source Performance
Standards (NSPS) operational standards, which include monitoring requirements. Once expansion of
the landfill commences, the landfill will then become subject to NSPS Subpart XXX and will commence
monitoring the operational standards (surface methane monitoring, landfill gas oxygen/nitrogen content
and temperature.

Comment:

PART 360 APPLICATION – ATTACHMENT 10 – LANDFILL GAS MANAGEMENT AND ODOR


CONTROL PLAN - 3. Section 2.6.1 does not include routine reporting of deviations and malfunctions to
the NYSDEC, which would be required if and when NSPS Subparts WWW or XXX, or NESHAP 40
CFR 63 Subpart AAAA, may become applicable. Subparts WWW and XXX are discussed further in
conjunction with the Title V permit application review comments. (Commenter 21)

Response:

The operational standards of the NSPS Subpart WWW and NESHAP Subpart AAAA are not applicable.
Although the landfill does exceed the NSPS Subpart WWW applicability threshold of Municipal Solid
Waste (MSW) Design Capacity of greater than 2.5 million cubic meters (m3) and megagrams (Mg), it
has not exceeded the nonmethane organic compound (NMOC) operational standard applicability
threshold of 50 Mg/yr. Because it has not exceeded the 50 Mg/yr. operational standard threshold, it is
not subject to the planning, monitoring, recordkeeping or reporting requirements of the NSPS or
NESHAP. The landfill documented that it was less than 50 Mg/yr by submitting a NMOC Tier 2 5-Year
Emission Report that was the results of a site specific NMOC Sampling event. An updated Tier 2
NMOC Emission Report is due in 2019, at which time the landfill will assess if the 50 Mg/yr. operational
standard applicability threshold will be exceeded. Another NSPS rule, Subpart XXX, effective August
29, 2016, lowered the NMOC applicability threshold for new and modified landfills to 34 Mg/yr.

Comment:

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT FORM (EAF) - 1. Section D.2.g.ii. Indicates that the project will
generate ~17,157 tons / year (short tons) of carbon dioxide (CO2). The Title V permit application shows
fugitive CO2 emissions of 6,244 tons per year (TPY) but does not account for landfill gas flare
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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

emissions of CO2. There is insufficient information in the permit application documents and the DEIS to
determine if the EAF is consistent. (Commenter 21)

Response:

The FEIS provides the most current information about the permit applications and the information
supplements the original EAF. The DEIS “supersedes” the information in the EAF only insofar as the
most current information about the applications is provided in the FEIS. The flare emissions were not
included in the Area 7 application because there is no proposed increase in flare capacity nor the
addition of any new flare. Because there is no additional flare capacity proposed, the flare will continue
to have a CO2 potential emission of 78,767,629 pounds/yr. (39,384 tons/yr.), as documented in the
April 17, 2012 Title V Operating Permit Renewal Application. The information provided in the Minor
Modification Application for the Area 7 Development accurately reflects the proposed CO2 fugitive
emissions from the landfill.

Comment:

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT FORM (EAF) - 2. Section D.2.g.ii. Indicates that the project will
generate ~9.24 tons / year (short tons) of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs). The Title V permit
application shows fugitive HAP emissions of 3.19 tons / year (TPY) but does not account for landfill gas
flare emissions of HAP. There is insufficient information in the permit application documents and the
DEIS to determine if the EAF is consistent. (Commenter 21)

Response:

Emissions information in the EAF was updated in the DEIS. This information, presented in Appendix I
of the DEIS is accurate and represents a more realistic assessment of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP)
emissions. The flare emissions were not included in the Application because there is no proposed
increase in flare capacity nor the addition of any new flare. Because there is no additional flare
capacity proposed, the flare will continue to have a HAP potential emission of 6,532 pounds/yr. (3.27
tons/yr.), as documented in the April 17, 2012 Title V Operating Permit Renewal Application. The
information provided in the Minor Modification Application for Area 7 reflects the proposed CO2 fugitive
emissions from the landfill.

Comment:

DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (DEIS) - 1. Page 6 addresses air quality. It states
that “no change in the air quality regulatory standards governing landfill emissions will result due to the
proposed development” and that the applicable regulatory requirements in the existing Title V permit
would continue to apply after the proposed development is in operation. This may no longer be true
since new landfill air regulations were published in the Federal Register on August 29, 2016 (81 FR
59332 and 81 FR 59276). These new rules are discussed further in conjunction with the Title V permit
application review comments. (Commenter 21)

Response:

Comment noted.

Comment:

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (DEIS) - 2. Pages 6 and 7 address the new
leachate tanks. See comments on these air emission sources above as Item 2 in conjunction with the
Part 360 Application – Attachment 5. (Commenter 21)

Comment:

PART 360 APPLICATION – ATTACHMENT 5 – OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE PLAN - 2.


Section 9.7 indicates that leachate storage tanks will be installed. Vents from leachate storage tanks
can be a source of air emissions, particularly if the storage tanks are aerated to prevent the leachate
from becoming septic and creating additional odors. There is insufficient information presented in this
section and these potential emission sources are not included or discussed in the Title V permit
application. (Commenter 21)

Response:

Leachate is not considered a volatile organic liquid and has a vapor pressure the same as water. The
concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in leachate are generally negligible. By a letter
dated April 14, 2017, supplemental air quality information was submitted to the NYSDEC (provided in
Appendix I) that includes a conservative estimate of VOC emissions, thereby demonstrating the
potential for extremely low VOC emissions from the storage tanks (approximately 234 lbs. VOC/year
total from 2 tanks). As part of the Supplemental Information letter, the leachate storage tanks were
proposed to be added as a source in the Title V Operating Permit. There are no applicable
requirements proposed to be added to the Title V Operating Permit for the two leachate storage tanks
and no emissions proposed to be associated with the tanks.

Comment:
DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (DEIS) - 4. Page 67 mentions the National Ambient
Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Has the landfill or the LFGTE plant conducted air dispersion modeling
to demonstrate the offsite impacts are in compliance with the NAAQS? Is a NYSDEC Policy CP-33
assessment warranted for the landfill and/or the LFGTE plant? Has potential-to-emit of particulate
matter from fugitive dust from the operation of the landfill been estimated and what dust mitigation
measures are being taken during operations? Do the facilities fall below deminimis thresholds such that
these demonstrations are not required? The DEIS does not shed light on NAAQS compliance
methodologies. (Commenter 21)

Response:

Because the landfill did not propose an increase in the capacity of the control device (i.e. flare), no
dispersion modeling was conducted. To support the fact that the project would not require increased
flare capacity, the landfill provided an EPA LandGEM landfill gas model assessment showing that the
entire landfill, including Area 7, has the potential to produce gas that is collectable at or below the
capacity of the flare. NYSDEC Policy CP-33 is for PM10 and PM2.5. Fugitive dust is mostly particulate
matter larger than PM10 and PM2.5. Dust control measures at the landfill are described in Section 9.0
of Appendix B – Contingency Plan of the Operations and Maintenance Plan dated June 2016.

Also, because the landfill has not proposed an increase in the daily or annual waste acceptance rate,
no changes in current operations, emissions from the flare or LFGTE facility, or emissions of fugitive
dust from waste acceptance are proposed. The landfill operations will occur at the current rate and
result in the movement of the working face to and through Area 7 as waste is deposited and maximum
elevations reached.

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

Comment:

DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (DEIS) - 5. Page 68 indicates that nonmethane


organic compound (NMOC) emissions are less than 50 megagrams per year (Mg/yr.) and will be
through the year 2018, based on a Tier 2 Sampling and Emissions Report dated January 7, 2014.
However, this report is not included with the DEIS or the Title V permit application as documentation of
the lack of applicability of the design and operational standards of 40 CFR 60 Subpart WWW or 40
CFR 63 Subpart AAAA. This is discussed further in conjunction with the Title V permit application
review comments. (Commenter 21)

Response:

The February 4, 2014 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) Non-Methane Organic Compounds
(NMOC) Tier 2 Emission Rate Report was submitted to USEPA and NYSDEC. This Report was
required by the NSPS Subpart WWW to satisfy the requirement for the five-year NMOC emission rate
report. The Report indicated that NMOC emissions were below the 50 megagram/year threshold that
trigger the applicability of the Subpart WWW operational standards. This Report has been included in
Appendix I of the FEIS.

Comment:

DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (DEIS) - 7. Page 70 contains statements that


appear contradictory or factually incorrect. “Applicable regulations (40 CFR 60.753) require that GCCS
components be installed in waste that has been in place for 5 or more years in active areas of the
landfill or 2 years in areas that are closed or at final grade.” Regarding the placement of debris from
Hurricane Sandy, “the waste was placed in a relatively new area of the landfill which was not yet
required to have an active GCCS in place.” According to the Title V permit application and the
statements on page 68 cited immediately above in Item 4., 40 CFR 60 Subpart WWW Section 60.753
does not apply, and there are currently no apparent Federal or New York State regulatory requirements
to have an active GCCS in place anywhere at the landfill. (Commenter 21)

Response:

The New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) statements are correct. The landfill would have to
install and operate a Gas Collection and Control System (GCCS) based on the stated criteria once the
landfill was to become subject to the NSPS operational standards. At this time, and at the time of
placement of Hurricane Sandy waste, the NSPS operational standards related to the GCCS were not
applicable to the landfill because NMOC emissions were less than 50 Mg/yr. (see detailed explanation
below), and therefore no GCCS was required.

The operational standards of the NSPS Subpart WWW and NESHAP Subpart AAAA are not currently
applicable. Although the landfill does exceed the NSPS Subpart WWW applicability threshold of
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Design Capacity of greater than 2.5 million cubic meters (m3) and
megagrams (Mg), it has not exceeded the nonmethane organic compound (NMOC) operational
standard applicability threshold of 50 Mg/yr. Because it has not exceeded the 50 Mg/yr. operational
standard threshold, it is not subject to the planning, monitoring, recordkeeping or reporting
requirements of the NSPS or NESHAP. The landfill documented that it was less than 50 Mg/yr. by
submitting a NMOC Tier 2 5-Year Emission Report that was the results of a site specific NMOC
Sampling event. An updated Tier 2 NMOC Emission Report is due in 2019, at which time the landfill
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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

will assess if the 50 Mg/yr. operational standard applicability threshold will be exceeded. Another NSPS
rule, Subpart XXX, effective August 29, 2016, lowered the NMOC applicability threshold for new and
modified landfills to 34 Mg/yr.

Comment:

DEIS APPENDIX H – TITLE V PERMIT APPLICATION - 1. Pages 3 and 4 of 11 indicate that the
design and operational requirements of 40 CFR 60 Subpart WWW and 40 CFR 63 Subpart AAAA are
not applicable (similar to the DEIS statement noted above under DEIS Item 4). However, no NMOC
reports supporting the basis for this assertion are attached. Note new Federal regulations governing
landfills have been published in the Federal Register on August 29, 2016 (81 FR 59332 and 81 FR
59276). These regulations lower the threshold for regulatory applicability of the design and operational
requirements from 50 Mg/yr. to 34 Mg/yr. Based on our review of available documents, it appears that,
when construction starts on the expansion, the 34 Mg/yr. threshold will apply. The design requirements
in question are installation of GCCS and the operational requirements in question include
implementation of quarterly SEM, mandatory daily monitoring of gas well parameters, and
recordkeeping and periodic reporting of deviations to the regulators. (Commenter 21)

Response:

The February 4, 2014 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) Non-Methane Organic Compounds
(NMOC) Tier 2 Emission Rate Report (Tier 2 Report) which was submitted to the US Environmental
Protection Agency (USEPA) and the NYSDEC is included in Appendix I of the FEIS. This Report was
required by the NSPS to satisfy the requirement for the five year NMOC emission rate report. The
Report indicated that NMOC emissions were below the 50 Mg/yr threshold, and therefore, the Subpart
WWW operational standards are not applicable. The landfill is currently subject to the requirement of
NSPS Subpart WWW to show that NMOC emissions are maintained below 50 Mg/yr. The landfill is not
subject to the operational standards of NSPS Subpart WWW unless the NMOC emission threshold of
50 Mg/yr is exceeded. Below is Table 3 (Laboratory Results) and Table 6 (Projected 5 - Year Projected
NMOC Emission Rate) from the February 4, 2014 Tier 2 Report.

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

Comment:

Environmental Impacts Air Emissions and Odor Control - Detailed comments regarding air emissions,
associated air emissions, permitting and odor control developed by Epsilon Associates, Inc. are
provided as Attachment 5. In addition, the application and DEIS do not include a summary of odor
complaints or a copy of the odor complaint log. Due to the level of citizen comments at recent public
hearings regarding the Area 7 Development, it is clear the facility has a significant and persistent odor
problem. The NYSDEC must require the applicant to develop an odor control program, and proven
contingency measures, to be implemented when odor complaints are received. (Commenter 90)

Comment:

Odor issues - I request that the DEC disallow any disturbance of existing cells. (Commenter 103)

Response:

Comment noted.

Comment:

The existing gas collection system at the landfill could be expanded and the installation of cogeneration
units that run off of the diesel exhaust stacks could provide additional electric power. (Commenter 117)

Response:

Comment noted.

General Air Title V Response:

As required by regulation, the Department solicited a review by the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) regarding the proposed Air Title V modification required for this facility expansion proposal. The
EPA did not indicate objections to issuance of the Air Title V modification, but did request that the
provisions of Subpart XXX requiring modification of the Air Title V operating permit which would be
triggered upon construction of the facility, be clearly included in the draft permit or any permit issued

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

pursuant to this proposal. The provision (Condition) as requested by the EPA has been included in the
proposed ATV permit.

Traffic

Comment:

Several general comments related to the proposed entrance location, its selection, proposed traffic
patterns associated with the entrance, and its safety were presented. (Commenters 114, 53, 63, 119,
48, 132, 34, 84, 140)

Response:

A Traffic Impact Study (Section 5 of Appendix G to the DEIS) was performed to provide an assessment
of operating conditions on the transportation infrastructure serving the project site both with and without
the proposed modification projected to 2017, 2021, and 2038.

It is estimated that the current landfill activity in terms of employees, residents, and trucks would remain
constant throughout the extended life of the landfill through 2038. Therefore, no additional operational
traffic would be added to the area-wide roadway network as a result of the proposed action. It is
estimated that approximately 20 construction workers would arrive at the landfill during the weekday
and Saturday AM peak hour and depart the landfill during the weekday and Saturday PM peak hour as
part of the Proposed Area 7 Development construction. Approximately half of these employees would
enter and exit the landfill during the weekday and Saturday midday peak hour during lunch. It is also
estimated that 10 trucks related to the construction activity would enter and exit the landfill each hour of
the day on weekdays and Saturdays. It was conservatively assumed in the analysis that construction
activity would remain constant from 2017 through closure in 2038.

The proposed development includes a change to the access point for the landfill that would be located
away from the well-traveled Route 9 to a more manageable and less traveled location. These vehicles
would access Route 9 at the Fonda Road intersection which is signalized and has better sight distance
than the current unsignalized landfill access location. The proposed access would be through an
industrial park to the landfill property on Arrowhead Lane which has very low traffic volumes, and
coupled with off-road queuing accommodations, would provide minimum conflicts for entering and
exiting vehicles. As a result, the new access would increase safety for trucks and residents as they
enter and exit the landfill and for through traffic traveling on Route 9.

Commenters reported that northbound trucks turning right onto Fonda Road cannot safely make the
turn and cross the center double yellow line. This is an existing condition at the intersection. The
intersection and referenced turn is used by truck traffic entering the industrial park on Green Mountain
Drive. This type of intersection movement (large trucks making turns and crossing the center line) is a
common occurrence throughout the state, and while taken into account in intersection maintenance and
upgrades, it does not necessitate modifications to intersections. Some of the truck traffic currently using
the intersection (and possibly observed by commenters) is larger than the typical trailer that would be
used for waste transfer and would access the landfill. To test future traffic conditions, the Town
arranged for a typical truck/trailer combination that would be expected to travel to the landfill to be
routed through the intersection and referenced turn. As seen in the DVD which has been attached as
supplemental information to this document (Appendix H), the truck successfully makes the turn even
with oncoming traffic in the adjacent lane.

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

The proposed access on Arrowhead Lane will be the safest alternative to access the facility. This is
substantiated in the letter dated May 20, 2015 from SIMCO Engineering, P.C., made part of this
document as supplemental information (Appendix H). The new access will increase safety for trucks
and residents as they enter and exit the landfill and for through traffic traveling on Route 9. The
advantages and disadvantages of each of the four alternatives was assessed using information such as
intersection characteristics, access to Route 9, weekday peak period Level of Service (LOS), and truck
and car sight distance. Based on the results, three of the alternative driveway locations are projected
to fail due to poor intersection LOS and/or sight distance deficiencies. The proposed Arrowhead Drive
driveway is projected to operate satisfactorily in all of these areas. Based on the results of the analyses,
the proposed Arrowhead Drive entrance location is the preferred location.

The results of the 2017, 2021, and 2038 traffic analyses, and the supplemental information provided
indicate that the proposed development would not cause any significant deterioration in traffic service
levels at the critical intersections in the study area (Section 5 of Appendix G to the FEIS). Therefore,
no mitigation measures will be required.

Comment:

Traffic Access - What is the proposed access to the new landfill? Has there been a review of the
impact of the communities that will be impacted or any offsets to address any concerns? (Commenter
85)

Response:

The potential impacts have been assessed as described in the Traffic Impact Study (Appendix G of the
FEIS) and the supplemental letter (Appendix H to this document) provided by SIMCO. In order to
ensure that landfill traffic uses the appropriate roads, signage would be provided along Route 9,
Arrowhead Lane, Green Mountain Drive, and Fonda Road that identifies the travel route. The geometry
of the proposed driveway on Arrowhead Lane will be designed to direct exiting vehicles eastbound on
Arrowhead Lane and only allow vehicles to enter from westbound Arrowhead Lane. Additionally, the
current weight restriction on the eastern portion of Fonda Road (which is outside the proposed travel
route and would restrict traffic accessing the site from Cohoes-Crescent Road) would remain in effect.
The results of the 2017, 2021, and 2038 traffic analyses indicate that the proposed actions would not
cause any significant deterioration in traffic service levels at the critical intersections in the study area.

Comment:

Many times I have observed MBI trucks going into the MBI location on Arrowhead Drive, which is
connected to the Landfill, when the Landfill is closed. How do we know that they are not going to the
Landfill from their site? (Commenter 34)

Response:

The landfill accepts waste in accordance with its operating permit. The permit requires the incoming
waste trucks to cross the scale and sets operating hours. These operating conditions and other details
are described in Sections 3 and 4 of the O&M plan (Attachment 5 of the Engineering Report).
Furthermore, the gravel driveway between the MBI facility and the landfill is physically blocked with a
lockable cable barrier that is controlled by landfill personnel. The entrance was formerly used for
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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

maintenance vehicle access between Town owned properties and is not, and was never used, as an
entrance for vehicles to dispose of waste.

Visual

The comments and responses contained herein pertain to the proposed design contained in the original
Area 7 permit application. The final design of the facility will be significantly altered, as the Department
is requiring a 500-foot setback for waste deposition from the Mohawk River, which is 400 feet further
back from the original design of a 100-foot set back. The final design will also be altered to have a final
elevation of 467 feet above mean sea level (amsl), which is 50 feet lower than the original proposal of
517 feet amsl. The Department’s responses answer the issues raised by the commenters on the
original design, and do not take into account the Department required design changes.

Comment:

Several general comments related to visual impacts, the lack of visual assessment, or the proposed
height of the landfill were presented. (Commenters 85, 70, 87, 134, 56, 60, 112, 50 0128 51, 27, 65,
36, 95, 83, 107, 41, 103, 52, 99, 129, 132, 84, 104, 53)

Response:

Visual Change - Area 7 would represent a continuation of existing land filling operations for
approximately 20-years beyond the closure date of the currently permitted landfill. The Area 7
application proposed an increase the height of the currently permitted landfill by approximately 87 feet.
This additional height will enlarge the overall mass of the visible landfill and extend the geographic area
of project visibility. However, based on the data presented and comments received, the Department
has determined that a reduction of the height increase to 37 feet (rather than 87 feet) is warranted to
reduce the visual impact the City of Cohoes, and further minimize the impact to the Town of Waterford.
The visual impact resulting from the increased visible mass and expanded viewshed area will be
permanent. To more fully assess the degree of visual change, a revised viewshed analysis was
conducted extending the study area to a distance of 5 miles from the Area 7 high point. Viewshed maps
were also modified to identify the geographic area where the currently permitted landfill will be visible at
completion for direct comparison with the affected area resulting from proposed Area 7 Development.

Figure A (Appendix G of the FEIS) shows the bare earth viewshed, and supplements VRA Figure 2
(Appendix F of the DEIS). Figure B (Appendix G of the FEIS) shows a land cover viewshed map, and
supplements VRA Figure 3 (Appendix F of the FEIS). These new figures provide more detailed
information concerning the geographic area of project visibility. VRA Figures 2 and 3 identify the area of
landfill visibility that would occur upon completion of the currently permitted landfill and the proposed
Area 7 Development. Supplemental Figures A and B are these same areas, plus the area of landfill
visibility as it existed when the VRA was completed (April 2016). This additional information directly
correlates with the photographic simulations illustrating the existing condition (April 2016), the simulated
condition of the currently permitted landfill and the simulated condition of the proposed Area 7
Development provided in Appendix A of the VRA.

Figures A and B further supplement the VRA by including the surface area of the Mohawk River, which
was not in VRA Figures 2 and 3. It should be noted that Figures 2 and 3 of the VRA are referenced as
Figures 1 and 2 in the Table of Contents in the VRA and there is no figure that is labeled as ‘Figure 1’

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VRA Figure 3 identified the geographic area expected to be substantially screened by intervening forest
vegetation. Supplemental Figure B more completely defines the affected area by including the
screening value of existing built structures as well as intervening forest vegetation.

Revised area calculations are provided in Tables 1 and 2 below for the land cover viewshed condition.
These calculations replace the information contained in VRA Table 1 – Viewshed Summary.

Table 1
Area of Landfill Visibility within 5-mile Study Area
Acres Percent Cover
Total 5-Mile Study Area 50,260 100%
Existing Landfill (April 2016) Visible 863 1.7%
Currently Permitted Landfill Visible (A) 958 1.9%
Area 7 Development Visible (B) 1,459 2.9%
Newly Affected Area (B minus A) 493 1.0%

Table 2
Area of Landfill Visibility within 5-mile Study Area
– Land Area Only (excludes Mohawk River)

Acres Percent Cover


Total 5-Mile Study Area 47,115 100%
Existing Landfill (April 2016) Visible 367 0.8%
Currently Permitted Landfill Visible (A) 409 0.9%
Area 7 Development Visible (B) 692 1.5%
Newly Affected Area (B minus A) 283 0.6%

Areas of new project visibility are typically limited geographic extensions of adjacent lands that are
already affected by views of the Existing Facility. In most areas, the effect of the proposed development
on the surrounding landscape would be a change in the degree of exposure rather than a new or
visually different impact. The visual patterns and composition of the proposed development would be
consistent with what is already seen, just taller. Section 3.4 of the VRA describes the potential change
in visual character resulting from the proposed Area 7 development compared to the currently permitted
landfill.

The VRA contains photo simulations illustrating the change in degree and character of the Area 7
visibility from April 2016 to the height of Area 7 from a variety of vantage points. The degree of visibility
varies depending on distance and degree of screening provided by foreground vegetation. The publicly
accessible locations used for photo simulations were selected due to their direct visual exposure to the
project site. Therefore the photo simulations represent worst-case visual conditions that will be
commonly experienced by the general public and local residents.

Area 7 would be constructed with steep-sided meadowed landform that, although consistent with the
visual and composition of the Existing Landfill, is somewhat distinct from the natural topographic and
vegetative patterns found in the study region. Consistent with the Existing Landfill, the proposed Project
will be a dominant visual element; clearly identifiable as a man-made landform within the context of the
surrounding natural landscape.

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This new information is provided to enhance the level of detail in the VRA. The supplemental
information does not change the conclusions of the original visual impact assessment prepared for the
project set forth in the VRA. The proposed project represents a continuation of the existing visibility of
the Colonie landfill operations with limited areas of new visibility. In most areas, the effect of the
proposed action on the surrounding landscape is a change in the degree of exposure rather than a new
of visually different impact.

Visual Significance - The significance of a visual impact is defined by the NYSDEC Program Policy on
Assessing and Mitigating Visual Impact (DEC Visual Policy) (DEP-00-2) as follows:

“Aesthetic impact occurs when there is a detrimental effect on the perceived beauty of a
place or structure. Significant aesthetic impacts are those that may cause a
diminishment of the public enjoyment and appreciation of an inventoried resource, or
one that impairs the character or quality of such a place.

Because the proposed project is a continuation of existing landfill operations, visual impact from most
affected vantage points already, or will exist upon completion of currently permitted operations. As
presented in Section 3.2 of the VRA, an inventory of visually sensitive places was conducted consistent
with the DEC Visual Policy (DEC Visual Policy, pp. 3-4).

The inventory identified 36 places that meet the DEC Visual Policy definition as visual resources of
statewide significance (VRA Table 2). Of these, seven (7) resources were determined to have visibility
of the proposed Project. Six (6) of these affected visual resources are currently affected by views of the
Existing Landfill (VRA Table 3). Only the Harmony Mill Historic District will be newly affected. Within this
historic district the proposed Project will appear low to intervening tree line at a distance of
approximately two miles. 27 inventoried resources of statewide significance will remain unaffected.

Given the degree of existing visibility from most identified resources and limited areas of new landfill
visibility it is unlikely that the proposed Area 7 Development will diminish public enjoyment of any
identified visual resource of statewide significance. Thus, based on the definition of visual significance
found in the DEC Visual Policy, the proposed Project will not likely result in a significant adverse visual
impact.

The inventory also identified 31 places of local sensitivity or high intensity of use (based on local
context), even though they do not meet the broader DEC Visual Policy definition as visual resources of
statewide significance. Of these, 15 resources were determined to have visibility of the proposed
Project. Ten (10) of these affected visual resources are currently affected by views of the Existing
Landfill (VRA Table 3). Applying the same DEC definition of visual significance, given current visibility
of the existing landfill it is unlikely that the proposed project will diminish public enjoyment of these
affected places.

Mitigation to the Maximum Extent Practicable - The VRA (Section 4.0) includes thorough assessment of
the proposed visual mitigation program. The potential to mitigate visual impact is addressed consistent
with the universal list of mitigation techniques presented in the DEC Visual Policy (pp. 5-8). Visual
mitigation techniques to be employed include:

 Progressive lift berms to screen filling operations;


 Revegetation with a mix of native seed types to create a subtle “camouflage effect” to help
blend the final landform into the surrounding landscape;

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 Use of neutral or dark color for monitoring wells and standpipes to reduce the visibility of
these elements;
 Daily placement of refuse will be limited to as small an area as functionally practical;
 Newly deposited refuse will be covered with soil cover or alternate daily cover, on a daily
basis to minimize visual impact and blowing litter. The existing litter control program will be
continued; and
 Upon completion of active landfilling and site closure, all unneeded structures and
equipment should be removed. The site shall be graded and seeded, and be left in a clean
and orderly condition.
These mitigation techniques represent all practicable measures available to minimize visual impact.
After a careful review of the information presented and public comments received, the Department has
determined that further visual mitigation is warranted, and has further reduced the height of the
proposed landfill by 50 feet, to a final elevation of 467 feet amsl.

Comment:

Several general comments suggested the use of high altitude balloons for the study. (Commenters
135, 73, 51)

Response:

Appendix F of the FEIS contains state-of-the-art visual simulations from five (5) viewpoints determined
during scoping, as well as an additional viewpoint determined during the preparation of the DEIS
evaluation. The use of balloons to assess the scale and height of a proposed project is not as valuable
as the visual simulations contained in the DEIS. Visual simulation is a technological tool highly valued
by experts in the field of visual assessment because it relies on a detailed methodology and yields
higher quality information for the public to consider. Photo simulations provide a lay person with a
complete visual image of what the project will look like as it develops over time. In contrast, balloons
provide only a limited number of visual data points from which a lay observer must individually interpret
to draw a conclusion concerning the future visual condition.

Comment:

Environmental Impacts Visual - Surrounding communities have documentation voicing their repeated
concerns that the project expansion will have a negative visual impact. These correspondences have
been inclusive of community planners and leaders, clearly stating to the lead agencies their visual
resources are of immense importance. No Appendix B of 617.20 form was provided as part of the
DEIS, and no balloon demonstrations were executed as repeatedly requested by the surrounding
communities. (Commenter 90)

Response:
The referenced form is not required because the application documentation included a detailed Visual
Resource Assessment (VRA). The balloon demonstration is addressed in the responses to the general
comments in this section.

Comment:

The DEIS consistently downplays the intensity and expansion of the project using language such as
“only 23 acres of new waste footprint” (ES Page 3). (Commenter 47)
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Response:

Comment noted.

Comment:

The VRA does not provide a depth of study commensurate with the complexity of the proposed project.
The level of complexity in the visual impact assessment should reflect the potential impacts on the
communities they are proposed in. (Commenter 47)

Response:

Area 7 would be a continuation of an existing land use where the visual condition of the operating and
final covered landfill is well known and directly observable. The level of detail provided in the Visual
Resource Assessment (VRA) (Appendix F to the FEIS) was completed in accordance with the publicly
reviewed Scoping Document for the DEIS, the Department’s program Policy for Assessing and
Mitigating Visual Impact (DEP 00-2) (“DEC Visual Policy”), established professional practice, and it
provides all information necessary for the general public to understand the project’s potential visual
impact on scenic resources and for the Department to render a supportable determination of visual
significance.
Comment:

Based on common sources, standard steps for preparing a VIA are:


 Define visual character of the surrounding landscape to establish existing conditions;
 Define area of effect (viewshed);
 Determine visual quality of existing views including number of people, nature of views, length of
views, and the establishment of basic landscape units
 Establish the location of key views to be assessed
 Assess the impacts including evaluating the compatibility of impacts on visual resources, evaluating
viewer sensitivity and determine the degree of impact; and
 Identify potential mitigation.
(Commenter 47)

Response:

Section 1.1 of the Visual Resource Assessment (VRA) (Appendix F of the DEIS) – Methodology,
includes a bullet list of the five (5) basic steps included in the visual assessment. These steps are
consistent with the process recommended in this comment, the Department of Environmental
Conservations (DEC) Visual Policy and established professional practice.

Comment:

The VRA does not evaluate viewer preference via a series of workshops as referenced in the 2015
Guidelines for Visual Assessment of Highway Projects (USDOT). (Commenter 47)

Comment:

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These critical steps described above have not been completed so the viewshed and photo location
chosen cannot be evaluated properly. An “Expanded VIA” as defined in the 2015 FHWA guidelines
should be used. (Commenter 47)

Response:

This comment refers to alternative methodologies for visual assessment as presented in the 2015
FHWA Highway Guidance for the Visual Impact Assessment of Highway Projects. These guidelines are
written for, and apply to highway projects where federal funding is involved. The FHWA guidelines were
not used to develop the VRA for the proposed Area 7 Development. Because this project is under the
jurisdiction of the NYSDEC, the VRA methodology follows and complies with the DEC Program Policy
on Assessing and Mitigating Visual Impact (DEP-00-2) as part of the State SEQRA process.
Even though The 2015 Highway Guidance is inapplicable to this project, the guidance suggests two
methods for establishing viewer preference; the “professional observational approach” and the” public
involvement approach”( Section 5.4.2 – Establish Viewer Preferences). The approach utilized by the
Project VRA (Appendix F of the DEIS) comes closest to the professional observational approach. This
method focuses on established public policy concerning visual preference to express the aesthetic
values of potentially affected viewers. This is consistent with the DEC Visual Policy which states;
“An ever expanding body of research has demonstrated that environmental aesthetic values are
shared among the general population. This research finds that such values are not idiosyncratic,
random, or arbitrary. For example, millions of people visit Niagara Falls for our shared
appreciation of its beauty. Many places have been recognized for their beauty and designated
through Federal or State democratic political processes, reinforcing the notion that
environmental aesthetic values are shared. Recognition of aesthetic resources also occurs at
local levels through zoning, planning or other public means. That these special places are
formally recognized is a matter of public record.” (NYSDEC Program Policy – Assessing and
Mitigating Visual Impact, DEP 00-2, 2000, p.1.)
If the 2015 Highway Guidance was applicable, the public involvement approach would be optional and
used in addition to the professional observational approach to determine what natural, cultural and
project resources contribute to scenic quality of the visual landscape. That being said, as part of the
SEQRA process, the project included multiple public involvement opportunities: a public comment
opportunity at the DEIS Scoping stage where a public comment period of 36 days (August 13, 2014 to
September 18, 2014) was provided; a public comment period of 76 days (August 17, 2016 to November
1, 2016) on the DEIS; and two legislative public hearings held by the Department to accept comments
from the public, both of which were very well attended.
Comment:

The VRA only addresses the establishment of the viewshed and uses a few views to describe the
project. The viewshed glosses over the current impact to the existing viewshed as well as bypassing
the change between existing conditions and those permitted. A more detailed visual impact assessment
should be completed. (Commenter 47)

Response:

The VRA (Appendix F of the FEIS) provides significantly greater detail than simply a viewshed and a
few views to describe the proposed development. The full methodology is described in VRA Section 1.1
– Methodology.
As described in VRA Section 3.1.1 – Viewshed Methodology, the viewshed analysis addresses visibility
of the existing facility (at completion) and the proposed development (at completion). The VRA was
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completed in June 2016. At that time, the portions of the existing facility were nearing the maximum
permitted elevation. Therefore, the viewshed analysis of the existing facility (as currently permitted) is
highly similar to the viewshed of the existing facility as it existed at time the photo used in the visual
representation were obtained (April 2016).

Comment:

Several comments were presented indicating that DEC Policy clearly states that the standard review is
5 miles. Existing VIA is 3 miles. 5 miles ensures that the entire viewshed is defined including isolated
high points at far distances. (Commenter 47)

Response:

The Department’s Policy suggests five miles as an appropriate study radius because beyond this
distance it is assumed that project visibility would not be considered a point of interest by a casual
observer (DEC Visual Policy, p. 5). This suggested limit presumes the project would be visible at a
distance of five miles or more. The applicant’s determination of an appropriate study radius in the
Visual Resource Assessment (VRA) was established in a common sense manner after study that
showed that the proposed project’s visibility would be substantially limited to a radius of one mile from
the project site.

As evident in VRA Figure 3, Viewshed Map – Including Existing Forest Vegetation, while some isolated
areas of visibility worthy of assessment are found in the 2-3 mile radius, areas of potential visibility at
the 3 mile distance is reduced to small isolated locations. Given such limited visibility at the three (3)
mile distance, there is no probative value in extending viewshed analysis further.
As indicated in the supplemental visual resource assessment information in Appendix G, the two (2)
viewshed maps included in DEIS Appendix F – Visual Resource Assessment, are misnumbered. The
sheet titled Figure 2, Viewshed Map – Excluding Existing Forest Vegetation should have been
numbered as Figure 1. The sheet numbered as Figure 3, Viewshed Map – Including Existing Forest
Vegetation should have been be numbered Figure 2. These figures are included in the supplemental
visual resource assessment information as Figures A and B, respectively.
As described above, a revised viewshed analysis was conducted extending the study area to a
distance of 5 miles from the proposed Area 7 Development high point. Viewshed maps were also
modified to identify the geographic area where the currently permitted landfill will be visible at
completion for direct comparison with the affected area resulting from proposed Area 7 Development.
These revised maps are provided as attached Figures A and B in Appendix G of this FEIS.
As is stated in the VRA (p. 12), “Treeless condition analysis is provided only to assist experienced
visual analysts identify the maximum potential geographic area within which further investigation is
appropriate. Such topography-only viewshed maps are not generally intended or appropriate for public
interpretation of presentation”. The “bare earth” viewshed is provided only as a process step in
developing the visual impact assessment and does not represent a real-world depiction of the
potentially affected area. The land cover viewshed map (VRA Figure 2 and supplemental Figure B)
provides a more meaningful representation of the theoretical area of Project visibility.
Based on the revised land cover viewshed analysis the currently permitted landfill will be visible from
approximately 958 acres within a 5-mile radius. The proposed Area 7 Development will increase this
affected area to approximately 1,459 acres; a net increase of approximately 493 acres, or 1% of the 5-
mile radius study area, thus representing a minimal incremental impact from the Area 7 Development.

Comment:
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Visual Impact Assessment Scope and Process 1) Views from identified resources are downplayed and
do not accurately describe potential impacts. Resources of Statewide Significance are difficult to locate
and dismissed in the text. Local views are considered minimal yet photo simulations clearly show
substantial changes to those views. (Commenter 47)

Response:

Table 3 of the Visual Resource Assessment (VRA) (Appendix F of the FEIS) clearly describes the
nature of the evaluated visual resource and fully describes potential project visibility from all potentially
impacted visual resources. Resources of Statewide Significance and Local Importance (including
residential areas) are clearly identified and potential project visibility is fully described.

Comment:

Visual Impact Assessment Scope and Process 1) The use of photo simulations in the absence of
analysis does not establish the acceptance of what exists as a positive condition which can visually
accept conditions which are required to continue much less be expanded upon. The VRA fails to
establish that the existing conditions are compatible with the surrounding landscape at all and
therefore, fails to provide a foundation for future acceptance of the expansion of an existing condition.
The NYSDEC Visual Policy States “Aesthetic impact occurs when there is a detrimental effect on the
perceived beauty of a place or structure”. The DEIS has failed to prove that the current visual impact
acknowledged in the VRA does not have a detrimental impact on the perceived beauty of the place.
(Commenter 47)

Response:

The existing landscape, including the existing Colonie landfill, represents the baseline condition from
which visual change that would result from the proposed project is evaluated. The condition of the
landscape prior to the existence of the Colonie landfill is irrelevant to this analysis. The condition of the
landscape prior to the existence of the Colonie landfill is not relevant to this analysis. The full passage
in the DEC Visual Policy states, “Aesthetic impact occurs when there is a detrimental effect on the
perceived beauty of a place or structure. Significant aesthetic impacts are those that may cause a
diminishment of the public enjoyment and appreciation of an inventoried resource, or one that impairs
the character or quality of such a place. Proposed large facilities by themselves should not be a trigger
for a declaration of significance”

As detailed in Visual Resource Assessment (VRA) Section 3.2.2 – Visibility Evaluation of Inventoried
Resources, the VRA identified 67 visual resources of statewide significance and local importance within
the 3-mile study area. Each was evaluated to determine the degree of potential project visibility. Forty-
five (45) of these resources were determined by viewshed analysis and field observation to be fully
screened by intervening landform and vegetation/buildings, and thus were eliminated from further
evaluation. Twenty-two (22) resources were determined to be potentially affected by views of the
existing and/or proposed project. Table 3 clearly describes the nature of the evaluated visual resources
and fully describes potential project visibility from all potentially impacted visual resources. Resources
of Statewide Significance and Local Importance (including residential areas) are clearly identified and
potential project visibility is fully described.

Comment:

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Visual Impact Assessment Scope and Process 2) The VRA does not describe and quantify the extent
to which the existing viewshed and existing views are visually significant, the nature of the visual quality
of the existing viewshed or the visual quality of the existing views. Elements such as number of views
along existing roadways and from various locations, lengths of time of views, type of views, types of
viewer types and sensitivity are not assessed. (Commenter 47)

Response:

A full description of the visual character of the existing landscape is provided in Section 2.0 of the
Visual Resource Assessment (VRA) (Appendix F of the DEIS) – Landscape Character/Visual Setting.
The visual significance of the affected landscape is defined by public policy. As stated in the
Department’s Visual Policy, “[m]any places have been recognized for their beauty and designated
through Federal or State democratic political processes, reinforcing the notion that environmental
aesthetic values are shared. Recognition of aesthetic resources also occurs at local levels through
zoning, planning or other public means. That these special places are formally recognized is a matter of
public record” (NYSDEC, 2000, p. 1). Therefore, consistent with the DEC Visual Policy, the VRA
addresses the visual quality of the landscape in terms of the character of views from inventoried
resources, rather than a more subjective valuation of simple visibility.
The nature and significance of existing visual resources is provided in Section 3.2.3 – Summary of
Potentially Impacted Resources.
Comment:

Visual Impact Assessment Scope and Process 3) The DEIS and VRA does not evaluate the differences
between the existing condition and the stated “Permitted” condition. This assumption that those
conditions are a given and need not be considered creates a gap in the evaluation of potential impacts
relating to the type, intensity, length of time and quality of potential impacts. (Commenter 47)

Response:

The existing/permitted condition is clearly defined in Visual Resource Assessment (VRA) Section 2.1 -
Site Character and Section 3.4.1 – Compatibility with Regional Landscape Patterns. The project
visualizations presented in the VRA include existing condition, currently permitted condition, and
proposed condition and allows for comparison among the three conditions.

Comment:

Visual Impact Assessment Scope and Process 4. The DEIS and VRA does not evaluate the visual
impact of the change in views on the viewshed or specific locations. This is typically done using a rating
system. (Commenter 47)

Response:

The proposed development is a continuation of an existing land use, where the visual condition of the
operating and final cover landfill is well known and easily observable. There is no industry standard or
peer reviewed numeric rating system to measure the degree of visual change on a landscape. The
DEC Visual Policy does not require, suggest or address the use of any form of numeric rating system.
The level of detail provided in the Visual Resource Assessment (VRA) substantially exceeds the
assessment requirements detailed in the project scoping document. The project scoping document
does not mention the use of a rating system.

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The change in landscape character between the existing/currently permitted condition and the
proposed condition is provided in VRA Section 3.4 – Character of Project Visibility.

Comment:

Visual Impact Assessment Scope and Process 5) The VRA does not adequately describe the value of
the visual impacts which have and will occur by altering highly desirable views as described by
residents, homeowners and travelers users of the River, and those visiting. (Commenter 47)

Response:

The Visual Resource Assessment (VRA) places emphasis on views from resources that are generally
considered by society, through regulatory designation or policy, to be of cultural and/or aesthetic
importance. The VRA identifies and thoroughly evaluates all places meeting the DEC Visual Policy
definition as visual resources of statewide significance. The VRA also places emphasis on resources
of local sensitivity or high intensity of use that may not meet the broader statewide standard. Aesthetic
resources of statewide significance and local importance are defined in VRA Section 3.2 – Inventory of
Visually Sensitive Resources. The potential impact of the proposed development on these inventoried
scenic resources is fully evaluated in Section 3.2.2 – Visibility Evaluation of inventoried Resources and
Section 3.2.3 Summary of Potentially Impacted Resources.

Comment:

Visual Impact Assessment Scope and Process 6) There is no discussion regarding the compatibility of
the project with the surrounding uses and visual character. The Mohawk River is a high quality
recreation and visual resource and has limited ability to absorb this visual impact. (Commenter 47)

Response:

Section 3.4.1 of the VRA (Appendix F of the DEIS) – Compatibility with Regional Landscape Patterns
addresses the visual compatibility of the proposed development with the patterns, forms and scale
relationships that comprise the surrounding landscape. The visual character of surrounding land uses
is included in this compatibility assessment.
As discussed in VRA Section 2.0 – Landscape Character/Visual Setting, the Mohawk River in this area
is marked by existing industrial uses. In addition to the existing Colonie landfill, dams, powerhouses,
transmission towers and overhead conductors are directly visible along this portion of the waterfront.
The contemporary Erie Canal was constructed in 1918 for transport of commercial goods between the
Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes. Numerous locks, gates, bulkheads and other 20th century canal
infrastructure dominate the visual character of the shoreline. The Thaddeus Kosciuszko Bridge (aka
Twin Bridges) (I-87) approximately two (2) miles west of the Existing Landfill is a highly recognizable
and visually prominent structure along the Mohawk River. The Crescent Bridge (US Rte. 9) crosses the
Mohawk about ¼ mile north of the Project site. These facilities combine to make this portion of the
Mohawk River one of the most heavily developed and industrial waterfronts on the River between its
confluence with the Hudson and Utica.
Comment:

Visual Impact Assessment Scope and Process 7) In the VRA Figure 1 is missing. (Commenter 47)

Response:

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As indicated in the supplemental visual resource assessment information (Appendix G to the FEIS), the
two (2) viewshed maps included in DEIS Appendix F – Visual Resource Assessment, are
misnumbered. The sheet titled Figure 2, Viewshed Map – Excluding Existing Forest Vegetation should
have been numbered as Figure 1. The sheet numbered as Figure 3, Viewshed Map – Including Existing
Forest Vegetation should have been numbered Figure 2 . These figures are included in the
supplemental visual resource assessment information as Figures A and B, respectively.
Comment:

Visual Impact Assessment Scope and Process 8) In the VRA the current viewshed of the existing
conditions should be provided indicating where the landfill currently is visible. Areas of the landfill
currently visible should be evaluated in terms of the number of users and type of view. (Commenter
47)

Response:

As described in Visual Resource Assessment (VRA) Section 3.1.1, Viewshed Methodology, viewshed
analysis addresses visibility of the existing facility (at completion) and the proposed development (at
completion). The VRA was completed in June 2016. At that time the existing facility had reached its
maximum permitted elevation. Therefore, the viewshed analysis of the existing facility (as currently
permitted) is highly similar to the viewshed of the existing facility as it existed at time the photos used in
the visual representation were obtained (April 2016).

Comment:

Visual Impact Assessment Scope and Process 9) There is no real discussion of ongoing operations for
another 23 years. (Commenter 47)

Response:

A representative mid-life analysis was performed for the development as discussed in Section 3.3 of
the Visual Resource Assessment (VRA) (Appendix F of the DEIS). Simulations for this condition (‘C’
series of visual simulations in the VRA) show representative topographic conditions, construction and
operational vehicles, daily cover and other visually relevant conditions associated with active landfill
operations and phased construction.

Comment:

Visual Impact Assessment Scope and Process 10) The VR should include a series of cross-sections
spaced every 15 degrees across 360 degrees. (Commenter 47)

Response:

Line-of-sight cross-sections radiating outward from the landfill highpoint are substantially redundant
with, and of less value than, analysis already provided in the Visual Resource Assessment (VRA).
Viewshed maps are developed using a computer algorithm that effectively scans 360 degrees across a
digital elevation model from the control point (i.e., highpoint of the proposed landfill), distinguishing
between grid cells that would be hidden from view and those that would be visible based on
topography, vegetation and buildings. Manually constructing line-of-sight profiles would identify the
same affected areas, but only along each specific profile line. The line-of-sight profile method provides
no information for the vast majority of the study area which falls between 15-degree profile lines. The

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photo simulations in the VRA provide more realistic information about what can be seen from key
locations.

Comment:

Visual Impact Assessment Scope and Process 11) The orientation of many houses take advantage of
the River view. This would indicate most houses predate the existing landfill. (Commenter 47)

Response:

Virtually all residential homes along the riverfront in the Town of Waterford (e.g., Mallards Landing
North, Mallards Landing South and Steamboat Landing neighborhoods) have been constructed within
the past 30 years. The Colonie landfill has been in use since 1967.
While it is theoretically possible that a large storm or blight could potentially thin or remove vegetative
cover that is used in the VRA to establish existing vegetative screening, the magnitude and location of
such a rare event cannot be predicted. Speculation on the possible effect of acts-of-God on future
project visibility is not required.

Comment:

Visual Impact Assessment Scope and Process 12) Figures are difficult to read. (Commenter 47)

Response:

All Visual Resource Assessment (VRA) maps and photo simulations are produced and saved in a PDF
format at 11” x 17”. When printed at this scale they are legible and clearly convey necessary
information.

Comment:

Visual Impact Assessment Scope and Process 13) FEIS includes other reports where locations where
the existing landfill have been identified by photos. These locations should be added to the photo
simulations. (Commenter 47)

Response:

The project visualization locations were established in the scoping document and in response to
Department comments.

Comment:

Visual Impact Assessment Scope and Process 14) In the VRA, Photo 5, which represents the view
from the St, Mary’s Church Parish House on Church Hill Road, indicates the loss of the distant view
due to the proposed project. (Commenter 47, 51)

Response:

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

There is no Photo 5 contained in the VRA, nor is there a photographed view from the St. Mary’s Church
Parish House. To best respond to this comment a photograph was taken from the public right-of-way in
front of 84 Church Hill Rd (described in tax roll information as the St. Mary’s Church Rectory/lot) (see
Figure C1 in Appendix G of the FEIS).

See: http://saratoga.sdgnys.com/propdetail.aspx?swis=413800&printkey=28500100010210000000

From this location there is a partial view of the existing landfill between the rectory house and detached
garage. It appears an unobstructed view of the Colonie landfill and more distant landscape exists from
the backyard of this private residence.

The visual impact from this property will be similar to views from other residential properties on the
south side of Church Hill Road. From this location the Existing Landfill is directly visible at a distance of
approximately 1.1 miles from the proposed Area 7 Development highpoint. The proposed Area 7
Development would increase the height of the visible portion of the landfill by approximately 87 feet and
enlarge the overall mass of the visible landfill. Consistent with the Existing Landfill, the proposed
Project will be a dominant visual element; clearly identifiable as a man-made landform within the
context of the surrounding natural landscape. The Department finds that a further reduction in the
height of the landfill, will further reduce this potential impact, reducing the final height of the landfill by
50 feet, to 467’ amsl.

To illustrate the degree and character of visual change between the Currently Permitted Landfill and
proposed Area 7 Development from this location, photo simulations were generated from the 3D model
that was previously used in the preparation photo simulations (see VRA Appendix A). These photo
simulations are attached as Figures C2 and C3 of Appendix G of the FEIS

Comment:

Visual Impact Assessment Scope and Process 15) There are other locations where the project is
currently visible. Evaluation of all current views should be provided. (Commenter 47)

Response:

Project scoping was conducted and approved by the Department. The scoping identified five (5)
locations where photo simulations were to be prepared. Due to potential new visual impact and visual
sensitivity, a supplemental photo simulation was provided for the Falls View Park in the City of Cohoes
at the Harmony Mill Historic District.
As described in Visual Resource Assessment (VRA) Section 3.3 – Photo Simulations, the exact
location used for each photo simulation was selected to illustrate the most exposed vantage point in the
vicinity of the each viewpoint identified for simulation by the Scoping Document.

Comment:

Visual Impact Assessment Scope and Process 16) It is unclear what the starting elevation of each of
the existing conditions photos is. It is difficult to replicate the proposed conditions. Additional notations
should be provided. (Commenter 47)

Response:

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The elevations at the selected project visualization locations used in the 3D model to create photo
simulations are:
 VP A-2 Rte 9 South of Crescent Bridge, Elev. 194.0’
 VP A-3 Rte 9 North of Crescent Bridge, Elev. 224.0'
 VP A-4 Rte 9 near Arrowhead La., Elev. 295.5’
 VP A-5 East of the Mohawk River on Towpath La., Elev. 228.5'
 VP A-6 East of the Mohawk River at Lock 6 Canal Park, Elev. 189.2'
 VP A-7 Harmony Mill Historic District, Elev. 169.3'

Comment:

Environmental Impacts Visual - Section 2.9 and Appendix F of the DEIS discusses the environmental
impacts of the proposed action and analyzes the height increases as an incremental increase over the
height of the existing Landfill. This approach fails to fully evaluate the visual impact of the entire facility.
(Commenter 90)

Response:

The existing permit established a height and life under the terms of the previous applications and State
Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) actions and did not establish a ‘maximum’ height or life as
suggested by the comments. The development limits described for Area 7 includes the entire
footprint/envelope and where appropriate the impacts were assessed for the entire facility.

Comment:

Environmental Impacts Visual - Section B.23-27 of the SEQR Handbook specifically addresses
‘Determining Significance”, and why significance of visual impacts should be considered under SEQR.
NYSDEC encourages completion of a Visual EAF Addendum (Appendix B of 617.20) to help parties
develop an objective process for considering visual impacts. This form is meant to essentially help the
lead agency know if the resource is designated as important to the local people. (Commenter 90)

Response:

The Visual Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) Addendum is a preliminary tool used to assist
decision makers to determine whether or not a more thorough investigation of visual impact is justified
and in making a determination of significance. Here, a positive declaration was issued and a DEIS
prepared. In addition, the Visual Resource Assessment (VRA) included in the DEIS provides a greater
breadth and depth of evaluation than is required in the more basic EAF Addendum.

Comment:

Visual Impact - Was the visual view from Fonda Road considered? (Commenter 34)

Response:

The viewshed analysis includes areas along Fonda Road as shown in Figure 2 of the Visual Resource
Assessment (VRA) (Appendix F of the FEIS).

Comment:
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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

I see the landfill getting higher and higher, above the tree line. (Commenter 131)

Response:

Comment noted.

Comment 1:

Over 20 years of the construction duration is not a “Temporary Construction Impact” but a “Permanent
Impact” and requires analysis and mitigation. No analysis or reasonable mitigation of impacts during the
construction are presented for an area that is currently capped and closed.

Comment 2:

The Visual Impact Study simulations do not reflect site conditions for the 20 plus year construction
period and only show proposed completed landfill under full foliage conditions. (Commenter 53)

Response:

The process used to prepare the VRA follows basic NYSDEC Program Policy “Assessing and
Mitigating Visual Impacts” (DEP-00-2) (“DEC Visual Policy”) and SEQRA criteria to minimize impacts
on visual resources. Consistent with these protocols and accepted assessment practice the VRA
includes the following steps:
 Define the existing landscape character/visual setting to establish the baseline visual condition from
which visual change is evaluated;
 Conduct a visibility analysis (viewshed mapping and field investigations) to define the geographic
area from which portions of the project might be seen;
 Identify sensitive aesthetic resources;
 Depict the appearance of the facility upon completion of construction;
 Evaluate the aesthetic effects of the visual change (qualitative analysis) resulting from project
construction, completion and operation; and
 Identify opportunities for effective mitigation.

Visual Change

Area 7 would be a continuation of existing land filling operations for approximately 20-years beyond the
closure date of the currently permitted landfill. Area 7 would increase the height of the currently
permitted landfill by approximately 37 feet. This additional height will enlarge the overall mass of the
visible landfill and extend the geographic area of project visibility. The visual impact resulting from the
increased visible mass and expanded viewshed area will be permanent. As noted elsewhere in this
document, the Department has further mitigated this potential impact by reducing the final landfill height
to 467’, which is a 50’ reduction in final height of the facility.

Over the operational period the proposed project construction vehicles and relatively small areas of
active land filling will be periodically visible. When visible these relatively small operational areas would
create a contrast in color and texture with the vegetative patterns of the surrounding visible landscape.
This contrast would be particularly noticeable from viewpoints located within the foreground distance
zone (within ½ mile). These differences would be substantially diminished with distance and largely
unnoticed from background viewing locations (beyond three miles).

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Over the life and after completion of the Area 7 Development, covered and closed areas would appear
as a steep-sided meadowed landform that, although consistent with the visual and composition of the
Existing Landfill, is somewhat distinct from the natural topographic and vegetative patterns found in the
study region. Consistent with the Existing Landfill, the proposed Project will be a dominant visual
element; clearly identifiable as a man-made landform within the context of the surrounding natural
landscape.

The VRA contains photo simulations illustrating the change in degree and character of project visibility
between existing condition (April 2016), the currently permitted condition and the proposed Area 7
Development from a variety of vantage points. Phase filling of the development is described in detail
and the ‘C’ Series of figures in Appendix F of the DEIS shows construction phase visual conditions.

Visual Significance - The significance of a visual impact is defined by the DEC Visual Policy as follows:
“Aesthetic impact occurs when there is a detrimental effect on the perceived beauty of a place or
structure. Significant aesthetic impacts are those that may cause a diminishment of the public
enjoyment and appreciation of an inventoried resource, or one that impairs the character or quality of
such a place.”

Because Area 7 is a continuation of existing landfill operations, visual impact from most affected
vantage points exists already, or will exist upon completion of currently permitted operations. As
presented in Section 3.2 of the VRA, an inventory of visually sensitive places was conducted consistent
with the DEC Visual Policy (DEC Visual Policy, pp. 3-4).

The inventory identified 36 places that meet the DEC Visual Policy definition as visual resources of
statewide significance (VRA Table 2). Of these, seven (7) resources were determined to have visibility
of the proposed Project. Six (6) of these affected visual resources are currently affected by views of the
Existing Landfill (VRA Table 3). Only the Harmony Mill Historic District will be newly affected. Within this
historic district the proposed Project will appear low to intervening tree line at a distance of
approximately two miles. Twenty-seven (27) inventoried resources of statewide significance will remain
unaffected.

Given the degree of existing visibility from most identified resources and limited areas of new landfill
visibility it is unlikely that the proposed Area 7 Development will diminish public enjoyment of any
identified visual resource of statewide significance. Thus based on the definition of visual significance
found in the DEC Visual Policy, the proposed Project will not likely in a significant adverse visual
impact.

Mitigation to the Maximum Extent Practicable –

The VRA (Section 4.0) includes thorough assessment of the proposed visual mitigation program. The
potential to mitigate visual impact is addressed consistent with the universal list of mitigation techniques
presented in the NYSDEC Visual Policy (pp. 5-8).

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. These same methods would be used when construction occurs on the area that is
currently capped.

Upon initiating each successive vertical lift, a berm constructed of waste material would be placed
along the perimeter of the lift area. All external side-slopes would receive a final cover of soil and would
be planted with grass and herbaceous vegetation. This interim berm would create a visual barrier that

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

progressively screens views of operation and construction vehicles, as well as daily operational areas
of uncovered waste material. This berm would be maintained at a typical height of 10-13 feet above the
adjacent elevation of the active fill area. Maximum visibility of operational impacts would occur during
the period of berm construction when waste material is being placed at the perimeter of the lift area.
During this period, waste hauling and operation vehicles as well as uncovered waste would be visible
from off-site receptors not screened by intervening landform or topography. However, such views would
be relatively short in duration compared to the duration of the internal filling operations the interim berm
is designed to screen.

As landfilling is completed, closed areas would be revegetated with a mix of native seed types to create
a subtle “camouflage effect” to help blend the final landform into the surrounding landscape. The
selected seed mixtures included grasses, wildflowers and other herbaceous plants that will visually
present a variety of heights, colors and textures. Four different seed blends will be planted in
horizontally and vertically sinuously formed planting zones across the landfill for visual interest and to
imply a more naturalistic and undulating landform. 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, once vegetation is fully established mowing of the completed landfill would be
limited to maintain this desired visual character (i.e., certain areas would be only mowed once per year
to control woody plant growth).

The Seeding Mitigation Plan is provided in Appendix B of the VRA. Photo simulations illustrating the
general appearance of proposed seeding mitigation are provided in Appendix A of the VRA.

Visible landfill infrastructure components such as monitoring wells and standpipes are a telltale
indicator that a meadowed landform is a constructed landfill rather than a natural feature. Use of neutral
or dark color components will substantially reduce the visibility of these elements. Monitoring wells and
standpipes would also be installed as close to ground level as practicable to minimize visibility.

Daily placement of refuse will would be limited to as small an area as functionally practical. Moreover,
newly deposited refuse will be covered with soil cover or alternate daily cover, on a daily basis to
minimize visual impact and blowing litter. The existing litter control program would also be continued.

Upon completion of active landfilling and site closure, all unneeded structures and equipment should be
removed. The site shall be graded and seeded, and be left in a clean and orderly condition, which will
blend with the background and not pose a stark contrast to existing surroundings.

Comment:

Increase in height along with the use of Area 7 will block our view of the western sky and the sunsets
we so enjoy. (Commenter 104)

Response:
Comment noted.

Comment:

It's very disturbing to Church Hill residents that our resource, and most other resources identified in the
Visual Assessment, is dismissed as already viewing or partially viewing the existing landfill and
therefore drawing the conclusion that this is just more of the same with no significant adverse impact.
(Commenter 51)

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Response:

The area known as Church Hill is atop a bluff on the north bank of the Mohawk River offering
southward vistas over the Mohawk River toward the existing landfill and distant landscape beyond.
Approximately nine (9) private residences are located on the south side of Church Hill Road with similar
southward vistas.

From Church Hill the Existing Landfill is directly visible at a distance of approximately 1.1 miles. The
proposed Area 7 Development would increase the height of the visible portion of the landfill by
approximately 87 feet and enlarge the overall mass of the visible landfill. Consistent with the Existing
Landfill, the proposed Project will be a dominant visual element; clearly identifiable as a man-made
landform within the context of the surrounding natural landscape. The visual impact resulting from the
increased visible mass and expanded viewshed area will be permanent.

To illustrate the degree and character of visual change between the Currently Permitted Landfill and
proposed Area 7 Development from this location, photo simulations were prepared from the Church Hill
Road vantage point. The photo simulations were prepared using the same methodology in the VRA
(see VRA Appendix A). These renderings are provided in attached as Figures C2 and C3 in Appendix
G of the FEIS. The process used to prepare the VRA follows DEC Visual Policy and SEQRA criteria to
minimize impacts on visual resources.

Comment:

The Visual Assessment Report has numerous technical flaws and does not accurately reflect the
magnitude and scope of the final build out being proposed. The project’s visual impact significantly
degrades the quality of life and potential recreational use as well as the historic and the scenic
character of the Mohawk River and Mohawk River Valley View shed. These impacts are not, and
cannot be, sufficiently mitigated considering the magnitude and scope of the expansion. (Commenter
51)

Response:

The proposed development is a continuation of an existing land use where the visual condition of the
operating and final cover landfill is well known and easily observable. In addition to the existing,
operating landfill, the Mohawk River in this area is also home to commercial and industrial uses that are
all part of the common and historic character of the waterfront view shed. The visual analysis presents
depictions of the final build out.

Comment:

The Visual Assessment Report and DEIS do not identify as viewing or vantage points on the Viewshed
Maps important recreational, cultural and historical resources that will be visually impacted in the area.
(Commenter 51)

Response:

Table 3 of the Visual Resource Assessment (VRA) (Appendix F of the DEIS) fully describes potential
project visibility from all potentially impacted visual resources. Resources of Statewide Significance and

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Local Importance (including residential areas) are clearly identified and potential project visibility is fully
described

The DEIS Scoping Document identified five (5) locations where photo simulations were to be prepared.
A supplemental photo simulation was provided for the Falls View Park in the City of Cohoes at the
Harmony Mill Historic District.

The potential impacts to nationally-significant historic, cultural, recreational, scenic and natural
resources of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor are discussed in Sections 2.9, 3.2, 3.4 and
3.7 of the DEIS. Additionally, Section 3.2 of the Visual Resource Assessment (VRA, Appendix F of the
DEIS) Inventory of Sensitive Resources, identifies and evaluates potential visual impacts on all visual
resources of statewide significance and local importance. The potential impacts to Cultural Resources
are discussed in more detail in the Appendix J of the DEIS. In its August 9, 2016 review of the VRA, the
New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) concurred with the VRA’s findings, stating that
“While the proposed Project will increase the elevation of the landfill by 37 vertical feet (reduced from
the originally proposed 87 feet), the visual patterns and composition of the proposed Project will be
consistent with what is already seen” and concluded that the proposed Area 7 Development would not
result in additional adverse visual impacts to resources listed in or eligible for the National Register of
Historic Places. SHPO based its determination in part on the visual mitigation features that are
proposed as part of this development.

Comment:
It is never identified or acknowledged in the DEIS or Engineering Report that additional height increase
from existing landfill is approximately 117 feet. The increase is described in the Reports only as eighty
seven (87) feet over the currently permitted landfill. (Commenter 51)

Response:

Area 7 will increase the height of the landfill by 37 feet above the currently permitted elevation. The
Visual Resource Assessment (VRA) presents project visualizations that compare the proposed
development to both the existing condition and the permitted condition.

Comment:

No analysis, graphics, or reasonable mitigation of visual impacts during construction and operations.
(Commenter 53)

Response:

After discussion with the Department, the applicant performed a representative mid-life analysis for the
development as discussed in Section 3.3 of the Visual Resource Assessment (VRA) (Appendix F of the
DEIS). Simulations for this condition (‘C’ series of visual simulations in the VRA) show representative
topographic conditions, construction and operational vehicles, daily cover and other visually relevant
conditions associated with active landfill operations and phased construction.

Comment 1:

SEQR Administration 2) The permits issued by the NYSDEC in 1994 and 2003 for Areas 5 & 6, as well
as the Special Conditions to the permit issued by NYSDEC established the maximum height and life of

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

the facility. These limits were established in part to mitigate environmental and long-term impacts.
Environmental Impact Analyses contained in the 2016 DEIS are inadequate as the analysis appears to
evaluate only the incremental action of Area 7 development and does not provide an evaluation of
impacts of the facility as a whole. (Commenter 90)

Comment 2:

SEQR Administration 1) State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) determinations issued by
the Town of Colonie as Lead Agency in connection with the 1994 and 2003 Permit Modifications to
Construct and Operate Areas 5 & 6 established the maximum height of the facility at an elevation of
430 feet and committed to facility closure when the final elevations are attained.......This piecemeal
disorganized approach to permitting and analysis of associated environmental impacts has segmented
the SEQRA process (see 6 NYCRR Part 617.2(ag)) resulting in an inadequate evaluation of individual
and cumulative impacts. (Commenter 90)

Response:

Impacts from the development of Areas 5 and 6 were subject to a SEQRA review prior to approval.
Details on Area 7 were unknown at the time of the previous SEQRA determination, therefore,
segmentation has not occurred. Potential impacts of the Area 7 Development, including potential
impacts to the existing facility, are addressed in the DEIS and the application materials.

Health

Several general comments were received pertaining to the potential for negative health impacts from
the operation of the landfill. (Commenters 15, 96, 25, 67, 60, 77, 41, 11, 36)

Response:

One objective of NYSDEC’s regulations governing landfill development and operation is the protection
of human health. The project as designed would comply with all applicable NYSDEC regulations
governing, among other things, water quality and air quality. The project documentation includes a
Landfill Gas Management and Odor Control Plan to minimize the potential for odors to occur and
persist.

6 NYCRR Part 360 permit requires monitoring plans for groundwater at the development area and
analytical data would be compared to health-based standards to determine compliance.
The landfill is subject to a Title V permit that will contain emissions limits, monitoring requirements and
reporting requirements from state and federal regulations and standards. The state and federal
regulations and standards are designed and developed to be protective of human health.

The landfill will meet all the state and federal regulatory standards that it is subject to and provide the
required reports to certify to the compliance with the Title V Permit and requirements there-in.

Community Character

Several comments were received pertaining to concerns about how the development of Area 7 of the
landfill could potentially impact of the quality of life of the community regarding such issues as odors,
noise, air, water, visual, property values, etc. Others had concerns that expansion of the landfill would
be detrimental to the cultural and historic character and scenic value of the Mohawk River/Barge Canal
and the Historic Districts in the area. Some commenters were concerned that the Mohawk River would
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become an unsafe waterway for boaters and water enthusiasts and harm recreational opportunities and
the tourism industry of the region. (Commenters 67, 70, 143, 36, 84, 113, 13, 62)

Response:

Overall community character is influenced by a combination of many factors such as location,


demographics, economic stability of the area, housing density, zoning, proximity to industrial,
commercial and retail areas, cultural opportunities, recreational opportunities, natural vistas, as well as
environmental factors such, air quality, traffic, noise, odors, etc.

The concerns raised by the commenters primarily focused on the potential that expanded landfill
operations would cause problems by increasing traffic, noise, odor, dust; would harm wildlife in the
area, would lower property values, would have negative visual impacts, and would contaminate the
Mohawk River thereby negatively affecting recreational and commercial usage of the river.

The concerns about community character are addressed in general in this response section and are
more fully addressed under the respective individual issue. The Engineering Report that was submitted
as part of the 6 NYCRR Part 360 Solid Waste Permit Application and the DEIS that was prepared to
supplement the application documents describe in detail the potential environmental impacts
associated with the proposed Area 7 Development and how the overall proposed development avoids
impacts to the environment. The documents also describe impact(s) that cannot be avoided, and the
proposed measures to be implemented to mitigate, to the extent practicable, potential significant
impacts.

The applications, engineering reports and DEIS describe how the project has been designed to meet all
New York State and Federal regulatory requirements. The facility has an Operation and Maintenance
Plan, approved by DEC, the is updated to incorporate required engineering controls, routine monitoring
and reporting procedures, and regular inspection programs that are all designed to protect ground and
surface water, minimize and control air emissions, control odors and noise to protect human health and
mitigating to the extent practicable, any significant impacts to community character.

The potential impacts to nationally-significant historic, cultural, recreational, scenic and natural
resources were evaluated in the DEIS as well. A Visual Resource Assessment (VRA) was conducted
to identify and evaluate the potential visual impact the project could have on all visual resources of
statewide significance and local importance. The resulting study determined that the Area 7
Development would increase the visibility of the landfill for the immediate surrounding community, and
within the 3-5 mile viewshed. The viewshed of the landfill would increase by only 2% within the
viewshed area. However, the changes in views that would occur would not be new, or significantly
different from what is currently observable, and therefore, not a significant impact, according to DEC
visual guidance policy.

Comment:

A general comment was received that if the Area 7 Development were to go forward, the Erie Canal
Corridor would no longer be a safe waterway for boaters and water enthusiasts, and it would harm
tourism. (Commenter 113)

Response:

The current landfill facility is not located immediately adjacent to the river and the Area 7 Development
was originally designed to maintain a 100-foot separation distance of deposited wastes from the
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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

Mohawk River. After lengthy review of the permit applications and in response to concerns raised by
the public, the Department determined that as a further precaution and to add an additional measure of
safety, that the final design of the landfill should be modified and redesigned to meet the new Part 360
regulations (effective November 2017) to have a 500-foot separation distance between deposited
wastes and a surface waterbody.

The proposed Area 7 Development incorporates a design that will greatly reduce infiltration of
precipitation through large portions of the historic waste, thereby significantly reducing the potential for
discharges to groundwater that subsequently discharges to the Mohawk River.

Two new stormwater basins will be constructed to collect and retain stormwater from larger areas of the
site to will improve the water quality management at the facility so that there will be no increase to the
peak stormwater volumes discharged from the facility. No changes to typical daily operations are
proposed with the Area 7 Development and along with the removal of the leachate collection lagoons
and improved stormwater collection/retention it is not expected that the new development will have any
negative impact to the water quality of the river. Therefore, the new development is not expected to
negatively impact community character with respect to affecting commercial and recreational usage of
the river and tourism.

The landfill is consistent with local zoning and benefits the local community by providing a necessary
and vital public service for the residents and businesses in the Town of Colonie and the surrounding
communities at a reasonable cost. Extending the life of the existing landfill will allow the continuation of
this service for approximately 20 more years and provide ample time for the Town to plan for future
waste disposal needs.

Property Values

Comment:
Several residents made comments related to potential impacts that the Area 7 Development would
have on property values in the vicinity of the landfill. (Commenters 114, 134, 56, 106, 125, 58, 39, 53,
13, 104, 127, 16, 76, 62, 25, 67, 74, 41, 133, 119, 129)

Response:

No evidence in support of the assertions concerning adverse impacts on property values was provided.
The applicant has submitted a letter (Appendix F of the FEIS) showing current Multiple Listing Service
(MLS) residential real estate listings within a one, two and three-mile radius of the landfill. List prices
have been used based on the availability of information, and while not a final sale price, they do provide
an indication of the potential impact from the Town of Colonie Landfill. Based on this review, it appears
that neither the presence of the landfill, its operations, nor the proposed Area 7 Development has had
any adverse impact on property values. As seen in the table below, the average listing price and the
median price within the one-mile radii or area assessed is higher than either the two-mile or three-mile
distance (or one-to-two and two-to-three mile areas). Additionally, the average price per square foot
within the one-mile radii or area assessed is higher than either the two-mile or three-mile distance (or
one-to-two and two-to-three mile areas).

Summary of List Prices Within Three Miles of The Colonie Landfill


Search Distance from Colonie Landfill (miles) 1 2 3
Median Listing Price $318,900 $308,400 $303,900
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Average Listing Price $334,690 $304,311 $313,010


Number of Listings 10 46 118
Listings per Square Mile 3.2 3.7 4.2
Based on review of active MLS listings on December 15, 2016 (http://reny.net/)

Summary of List Prices Within Three Miles of The Colonie Landfill (Annular Zone)
Search Distance from Colonie Landfill (miles) 1 1-2 2-3
Median Listing Price $318,900 $308,400 $303,900
Average Listing Price $334,690 $304,311 $313,010
Number of Listings 10 36 72
Listings per Square Mile 3.2 3.8 4.6
Based on review of active MLS listings on December 15, 2016 (http://reny.net/)

Furthermore, there is no apparent impact to area development. Development in the vicinity of the Town
of Colonie Landfill has continued in recent years. Significant residential developments within the last 10
years within a mile of the landfill include:
• Shelter Cove in the Town of Colonie
• The western portion of Mallards Landing South in the Town of Waterford
• Widgeon Way in the Town of Waterford
• Gadwall Drive in the Town of Waterford

Based on the above information the Area 7 development project is not expected to have a negative
impact on property values in the communities surrounding the landfill.

General and Miscellaneous Topics

No Hazardous Waste Accepted

Comment:
How do we know hazardous waste is not being dumped in the Landfill? Are all the loads inspected
each time? (Comment 34)

Response:

As discussed in Section 1.2.2 of the Engineering Report, the landfill is permitted (and will continue) to
accept only non-hazardous municipal, commercial, and industrial solid waste. Sections 5.2 and 5.3 of
the O&M Plan (Attachment 5 to the Engineering Report) describe the program the facility uses to
prevent unauthorized waste from entering the facility.

Road Maintenance

Comment:

Ice formation on the river road (Cohoes Crescent Road) due to drainage and freezing causing a major
hazard to those who used that road daily. (Comment 72)

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Response:

The ice noted on Crescent Road from the landfill describes a known condition that is related to
drainage on and around the town road and the drainage features of the road itself. The Department is
informed by the Town of Colonie that its road maintenance and safety staff are responsible for
maintaining the road. If the proposed development is constructed, the drainage area currently directed
to Cohoes Crescent Road will be reduced in size. Some of the stormwater currently draining directly to
the road will be directed to stormwater channels or structures that discharge to basins and not directly
to Cohoes-Crescent Road. It should be noted the Town recently completed construction and
maintenance on the referenced section of the road which consisted of repaving and performing
maintenance on the drainage features (e.g., roadside swales and catch basins).

Revenue Review

Comment:

Request NYSDEC to audit the revenue records. (Commenter 18)

Response:

This information is available from the Town of Colonie. The Town’s financial records are subject to audit
by the State Comptroller. The DEC does not have the authority to audit the Town’s financial records.

Compliance History

Comment:

Several commenters commented on the Compliance History of Waste Connections and a notice of
violation received related to the use of Alternative Daily Cover. (Commenters: 99, 130, 136)

Response:

The Town entered into an Order on Consent to settle the notice of violation with the Department in
2015 without an admission of liability and the Town continues to comply with the terms of that order.

Vector Management

Comment:

It looks horrible, it smells horrible, it has rats, mice, possums, hawks, and who knows what else living
there. (Commenter 1)

Response:

The management of landfill vectors, including gulls, is discussed in detail in Section 8.7 of Attachment 5
to the Engineering Report (O&M plan). Passive management techniques that are employed include the
use of daily covers, minimizing the working face size and controlling standing water on the site.
Additionally, a Wildlife Management Plan is provided in Appendix E of the O&M plan which includes
active control measures such as pyrotechnics, cannons and distress calls. This comment is also
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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

addressed in the response to the general comments on visual impacts (Section 3.12) and air quality
(Section 3.7).

Comment:

Large increase in the insect population making it sometimes unbearable to enjoy our backyards.
(Commenter 48)

Response:

Comment noted.

Litter Management

Comment:

Several comments were received stating that the local roadways littered with trash that escapes from
trucks hauling wastes to the landfill, and trees surrounding the landfill are littered with plastic bags, toilet
paper, etc. (Commenters: 2, 26, 72, 87, 129)

Response:

The Operations and Maintenance Plan for Area 7 and the site (Engineering Report, Attachment 5, and
Section 8.6) outlines engineering controls and procedures that the site will use to appropriately manage
site litter. These consist of the use of various types of fencing – including mobile fencing, regular
inspections, litter pick-up, and even curtailing certain waste activities in high winds.

Public Participation

Comment:

Town has tried to progress expansion with minimal public outreach and coordination. There has been
no information coming from the Town of Colonie about this application informing the public about what
it means. (Commenter 53)

Response:

The Town and CRL have been engaged in public outreach since 2014 regarding the proposed project
by conducting a series of public meetings and community forums to discuss current operations and
certain aspects of the proposal in the Towns of Colonie, Halfmoon, and Waterford and the City of
Cohoes. These meetings were not required by the public involvement provisions of the Department’s
regulations. The Department, as SEQRA lead agency, has involved the public in the scoping process
for the DEIS through a public comment period. Similarly, when the DEIS was accepted by the
Department, the DEIS was made available for public review and a public comment period was
established. The Department held two legislative public hearings on the proposed development to
assure that members of the public could express their opinions regarding the DEIS and the
applications. The Town and CRL have assured the Department that documents related to the proposal
were distributed to multiple parties, placed in multiple document repositories, and posted on the
internet.
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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

Extend Public Comment Period

Comments:

Several comments were received which requested that the Department extend the public comment
period and to schedule another Public Legislative Hearing to provide the public with another opportunity
to provide oral comments. Commenters also stated that issues were not sufficiently addressed in the
DEIS and that the nature of the issues were such that scheduling of an adjudicatory hearing was
warranted. (Commenters: 53, 121, 135, 5, 87, 34,17, 131, 46, 101, 56, 60, 88, 52, 33, 22, 125, 145,
146, 98, 92, 31, 94, 50, 129, 45, 82, 124, 75, 86, 118, 24, 125, 42, 54, 7, 8, 58, 138, 53, 98, 92, 13, 92,
13, 81, 93, 3, 80, 10, 74, 14, 144, 29, 73, 37, 61, 110, 111, 130, 131, 100, 78, 79, 122, 123, 139, 141,
9, 4, 76, 99, 32, 27, 47, 97, 19, 51, 28, 66, 64)

Response:

The permit application was declared complete on August 17, 2016 and a public Legislative Hearing was
scheduled for September 20, 2016. The close of the comment period was October 7, 2016. In
response to requests from the public the deadline for comments was extended until November 1, 2016.

On October 7, 2016 the Department issued another notice which stated that it was scheduling a second
public Legislative Hearing for October 25, 2016 to received oral and written comments on the
applications. The deadline for comments remained November 1. The Department provided ample
opportunity for the public to provide comments, both in writing and at the two public hearings that were
held.

The Department considered all information provided in the application, the supporting documentation
and records, the DEIS, and all the public comments submitted regarding the applications and made a
determination that the issues raised were sufficiently and appropriately addressed in the application
documents and the DEIS. The Department has made further modifications to the proposed project to
increase the separation distance to the Mohawk River from 100’ to 500’, and to reduce the final
elevation of the proposed project from 517’ to 467’ to further reduce visual impacts. Therefore, neither
an additional public comment period nor an adjudicatory hearing was warranted.

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness Summary

INDEX OF PERSONS WHO SUBMITTED COMMENTS

The names of persons who submitted comments on the DEIS are listed below in alphabetical order by
first name. Next to each person’s name is the number of that commenter, which corresponds to the
items and topics in the Responsiveness Summary. The full comment letters, public hearing transcripts,
and an index of these documents can be found in Appendix I.

Index by Name of Person Submitting Comment

A E
1 Against Air Pollution in Halfmoon 30 Easterly-Klaas, Lisa
2 Allard, Don 31 Edmund, Joe
3 Ameres, Eric 32 Ellis, Tom
4 Anthony, Brad 33 Ellrott, Donna
34 Ellrott, Stephen and Donna
B 35 Ellrott, Steve
5 Baciuska, Cody 36 Engel, Dave
6 Bajdek, Christopher
7 Baker, Diane F
8 Baker, Donald 37 Fazio, Marcia
9 Baker, Tamara 38 Feiden, Rick
10 Barnard, Sylvia 39 Ferris, Dorrae & Frank
11 Barron, Elizabeth
12 Benjamin, M.D., Dr. & Mrs. Anthony G
13 Bigaouette, George 40 Gabriel, Mark
14 Bold, Jim 41 Galarneau, Francis
15 Bolognino, Mary 42 Galdun, David
16 Bower, Steven 43 Garland, Brian
17 brbr0073@aol.com 44 Gifford, Gregory
18 Bronner, Kevin 45 Golub, Louise
19 Bruno, Crystal 46 Green, Thomas
20 Buckley, Dave
21 Buckoski, Dorothy H
47 Hahn, Terri-Ann
C 48 Halek, Kevin
22 Campo, Lisa 49 Hamilton, Eric
23 Crump, Susanna 50 Harrington (Montello), Dawn
(Dominic)
D 51 Harris, George
24 Desroches, Bernard 52 Hartley, Betty
25 DeViddio, Cynthia 53 Hartley, Frank
26 Donnelly, Tim 54 Hartman-Symanski, Deborah
27 Dooley, Maribeth 55 Hetko, Joe
28 Doran, Erin 56 Heyman, Aaron
29 Drake, J 57 Hopson, Warren & Annette
58 Howe, Donald

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness
Summary

I 96 Murdico (Tedesco), James (Joanne)


59 Ioffe, Raya 97 Murray, Carl
98 Murray, Francis
J
60 Jenne, Patricia N
61 Johnson, Marie 99 Nadi, Ryan
100 Nichols, Tim
K 101 Noto, Tony & Michelle
62 Kees, Charles and Marcia
63 Kenney, John O
64 Kiehle, Sheila 102 O'Grady, Henrietta
65 Knightes, Cathy 103 Oswald, Brad
66 Knightes, Dan & Linda
67 Kornblau, Harry P
68 Kowsky, Kathleen 104 Paglia, James
105 Parvana, Michelle
L 106 Peace, Theresa
69 LaCombe, Philip M. 107 Pickett, Tom
70 Lamoutte, Kathryn and Keith 108 Porter, Don
71 Laurilliard, Susan 109 Porter, Lois
72 Lavigne, Dorothy
73 Lawler, John (Jack) Q
74 Levine, Janet 110 Quandt, Mark
75 Lieberman, Tina 111 Quinn, Patrick
76 Little, Terry 112 Quinn-Pickett
77 Lockhart, William
R
M 113 Radliff, Bob
78 Mack, Joanne 114 Reepmeyer, Paul
79 Mack, Joshua 115 Ricchiuti, Jr., Leonard
80 Magicviewr@aol.com 116 Rice, John
81 Male, Martine 117 Romano, Thomas
82 Mallory, Nancy
83 Maloney, Suzanne S
84 McDade, Jonathan 118 Sage, Anne
85 McDonald, III, John 119 Santa Lucia, Bob and Mary
86 McKane, Aimee 120 Santa Lucia, Robert
87 McTague, Joe 121 Schachner, Mark
88 Miller, Anne 122 Schlieman, Robert
89 Milligan, Linda & John 123 Senez, Ronnie
90 Millspaugh, Mark 124 Shafer, Stephen
91 Miron, Susan 125 Sheffer, Carol
92 Monast, Gail 126 Sheffer, Daniel
93 Moraski, Ron 127 Silverman, Phil
94 Morse, Laurie 128 Stout, Doris & Warren
95 Murad, Megan 129 Stout, Russel

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Colonie Landfill – Area 7 Development Responsiveness
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130 Strand, Carolyn V


131 Sullivan, Jamie 139 VanHeertum, Rosanne
132 Swatling, Mark
133 Swota, Peter W
134 Szemansco, John 140 Wands, Jack
141 Weber, Susan
T 142 Weiss, Paula
135 Tollisen, Kevin 143 White, Karin
136 Treffiletti, Jason 144 Wilson, Jeffrey
137 Truscott, Tim 145 Wolf, Daria
138 Tull, Edith 146 Wolf, George

Z
147 Zapp, Cole

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