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Dunn Landfill open to discussion by the DEC

RENSSELAER, N.Y. (NEWS10) -Dunn Landfill has been operating without valid permits since 2022. With two applications for permits now pending, the Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting comments from the public.

The DEC kicked off the discussion August 8 in-person at the Rensselaer City School District, a ten-minute drive from the dump. The afternoon and evening brought in a large crowd to the school. With only two to three minutes to speak, participants voiced their opinions mostly of concern.

Among those at the meetings was Rensselaer Environmental Coalition Treasurer, Bob Welton. One of the issues brought up was the location of the landfill. “You need landfills, but you don’t need them next to a school. That’s one big issue. The community is really pretty unified against the land fill. They don’t want it there anymore.”

Back in 2020, NEWS10 met with the mayor of Rensselaer, Michael Stammel, to see what he thought of the dump. The journey to do so taking longer than expected. “I never said I could close the dump, but I definitely was going to do my part to make it happen,” explained Stammel.

Some dangers from Dunn include PFAS, or ‘forever chemicals’. Welton describes them as toxins that should not be leaving the dump. “We discovered originally back in 2020 that there were PFAs chemicals in the water around the landfill. The different creeks and little gravel streams.”

At the time, a Dunn Landfill spokesperson responded to the hazards saying: “Our top priority is to the environment and the health and safety of local residents and the students and staff at Rensselaer school.”

There is still time to get your word in on the Dunn Landfill. Send your comments by e-mail to Comments.dunnfacility@dec.ny.gov before 5p.m. August 28.

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