ACAL Continues Environmental
If you missed Part 1, it can be viewed on our website at www.acalnews.org. This article was devoted to Adirondack Communities Advisory League’s (ACAL) environmental mission and the role of citizen participation in the protection of our natural resources and the health of our communities.
There is no substitute for citizen vigilance when it comes to protecting our valuable resources. ACAL was called into action when Moose Creek suffered repeated sediment contamination during construction of the Ava landfill. Part 2 is dedicated to our pending Clean Water Act citizens’ suit against the Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority (OHSWA), filed in federal court on June 8, 2006.
Part 2 – Present
We’re approaching the three year anniversary of when major landfill construction began in Ava. The problems for Moose Creek were immediately apparent as a large amount of land was stripped. ACAL monitored the situation, and filed formal complaints with regulatory agencies, including the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). When the discharges did not stop, ACAL took a legal stand for Moose Creek, a class C trout-spawning stream and tributary of the
In 1972, Congress passed the Clean Water Act (CWA). This powerful piece of legislation provides for the protection of the waters of the
Initial attempts to settle the case failed. In January of 2007, the case was moving forward in court. In February 2007 the Authority failed to meet a deadline for discovery, but promised they would respond within 10 days. At that time, Magistrate Peebles requested the parties participate in a settlement conference. After multiple delays, this meeting took place in May of 2007. Since that time, ACAL has been in settlement discussions with the Authority.
In cases like this, it is not uncommon for the defendant to raise every conceivable motion and to use any tactic to delay or derail the lawsuit. These tactics are used in hopes that the plaintiff will run out of money, or just give up.
Every coordinated effort put forth by ACAL over the years required enormous amounts of time and energy. The CWA citizens’ suit is no exception. However, ACAL is resolved to achieve a positive outcome for the protection of Moose Creek.
Shortly after the lawsuit was filed in 2006, a preliminary search of the Authority’s records failed to reveal all stream monitoring data, in particular turbidity testing that documents stated was being done on a daily basis. A search of the DEC records also failed to reveal this data. However, we know that DEC issued a Notice of Violation to the Authority on Sept. 2, 2005.
Streams and rivers are at risk when water quality regulations are not enforced, and NYS’s turbidity standard is an integral part of these laws. In February of 2007, OHSWA submitted comments to the State in an attempt to get the turbidity standard removed from the laws. Their recommendation, “The narrative turbidity standard should be removed from Parts 700-704 of Title 6 of NYCRR, and all other State regulations in which this standard is utilized.” Their comments also called for a change in “flow” requirements as well.
It is also important to note that in 2004 the Authority was awarded a 15 million dollar short term loan through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) by NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) for the construction of the landfill leachate collection system. CWA funds are available for projects that preserve, protect, and/or improve water quality. The Project Financing Agreement states the recipient will at all times during the term of the loan be in compliance with all applicable federal, State and local laws, including the CWA. Together, the EFC and NYSDEC are responsible for ensuring compliance.
Un-permitted discharges, acknowledged by both the DEC and the Attorney General’s Office, occurred during the term of this loan. Yet this did not stop the EFC from approving the Authority’s application to obtain CWSRF long term financing for 25 million dollars in the summer of 2006, after ACAL’s lawsuit was filed and discharges were continuing.
Why is it so important to fight for a small tributary like Moose Creek? The answer can be found in a scientist publication called, “Where Rivers are Born: The Scientific Imperative for Defending Small Streams and Wetlands”:
“Today’s scientists understand the importance of small streams and wetlands even better than they did when Congress passed the Clean Water Act. If we are to continue to make progress toward clean water goals, we must continue to protect these small but crucial waters. The goal of protecting water quality, plant and animal habitat, navigable waterways, and other downstream resources is not achievable without careful protection of headwater stream systems.”
Kathy Crofoot, Director of Research
Adirondack Communities Advisory League
03/16/12 - NEW SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION
08/07/11 - Can Landfill Odors Be Prevented?
07/27/11 - Don't Give Up the Ship
12/21/10 - AUTHORITY SETTLES LAWSUIT WITH ACAL
10/11/10 - Black River Trash Bash
07/02/10 - Burning household trash is illegal in New York
06/17/10 - New Yorkers for Zero Waste Platform
07/13/09 - ACAL - Alive and well
04/13/08 - ACAL 2008 Update - Part 2
03/18/08 - ACAL Continues Environmental Mission in 2008
11/09/07 - Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust
10/26/07 - A good read - The Adirondack Atlas
10/12/07 - New York State Opening Meeting Law
09/28/07 - ACAL Fall Foliage Auction Oct. 5
09/21/07 - Integrity found in the Town of Ava
09/14/07 - Tug Hill resources have been targeted
08/19/07 - Fair and straighforward journalism?
08/10/07 - A Needed Appreciation for Nature
08/03/07 - New York State Municipal Home Rule Law
07/27/07 - Boonville Village Litter/Debris Local Law
07/19/07 - Black River Landing Subdivision Issues
07/13/07 - WTE vs. Landfills
06/29/07 - Too many impaired waters - Black River Watershed
06/22/07 - Protecting our drinking water starts at home
06/15/07 - ACAL Joins Northern Forest Alliance
06/07/07 - ACAL Holds 200/20 Drawing & Picnic, Annual Meeting
06/07/07 - ACAL AWARDED GRANT
06/01/07 - Be a solution - get involved
05/25/07 - American flags do not belong in landfills
05/24/07 - PRESS RELEASE - ACAL Signs Stolen & Vandalized
05/18/07 - Reality check for the DEC
05/04/07 - All citizens are called to act responsibly
04/27/07 - "An Inconvenient Truth"
04/13/07 - Citizens Deserve the Whole Truth ...
04/06/07 - Great Lakes United & Citizen Resources
03/30/07 - "What is the future of local government?"
03/23/07 - Citizens Expect More From Local Government
03/16/07 - Plastic Grocery Bags Harm Wildlife
03/09/07 - The Precious Gift of Water
03/02/07 - Working Together to Protect the Environment
02/26/07 - Grassroots groups are citizens who care!
02/16/07 - Local Citizens Want Environment Protected
02/09/07 - Open Letter to Boonville Town/Village Officials
02/02/07 - Ava Landfill Story Told in Chicago
01/26/07 - It's time for New Yorkers to reclaim their rights!
01/12/07 - CITIZENS' RIGHTS ARE NOT FOR SALE!
01/05/07 - "DO NOT LITTER" Applies to Everyone
12/15/06 - "March of the Penguins"
12/08/06 - Be "good news" in the community
12/01/06 - Moose Creek Prediction - 12 years ago!
11/22/06 - United Haulers v. OHSWA
11/17/06 - A Citizen's Rights
11/03/06 - EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE
11/01/06 - ACAL statement regarding opening of landfill
10/24/06 - OHSWA Opens Landfill Without Required DEC Permit
10/20/06 - OHSWA required by DEC to have proper permit
10/13/06 - Dr. Bob Johnson Speaks at Public Forum
10/06/06 - OHSWA Fails to Deliver
10/04/06 - PRESS RELEASE - Court Denies OHSWA Motions
09/26/06 - PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
09/21/06 - If OHSWA knew what they were doing ...
09/08/06 - Joint Board Resolution Revisited
08/28/06 - A Special Message
08/11/06 - Who will save the Town of Ava?
07/21/06 - The Emperor isn't wearing any clothes!
06/10/06 - Honoring Flag Day
05/19/06 - Local Residents Demand Protection for Environment
05/12/06 - The Foundation for a Better Life
05/05/06 - ACAL will pursue justice
04/28/06 - "Tug Hill, A Threatened Paradise"
04/21/06 - NYS environmental law contradicts State action
04/13/06 - The Tug Hill Plateau is worth protecting!
03/22/06 - Press Release - OHSWA & Rifenburg Being Sued
02/24/06 - ACAL Finds NYSDEC Consent Out of Order
02/03/06 - ACAL Defends the Truth
01/02/06 - PRESS RELEASE
12/15/05 - ACAL Continues with its Mission
12/01/05 - Tug Hill Heritage
11/23/05 - Boonville Breaks Resolution
11/06/05 - October 2005 OHSWA meeting
10/28/05 - NYS Waste Disposal Policies Not Enforced
10/21/05 - Environmental Conservation Laws
10/12/05 - Response to Village Trustee
09/23/05 - OHSWA Permit Violations
09/16/05 - ACAL Misinformation
09/07/05 - Press Release: DEC Enforcement Action
08/24/05 - ACAL Misinformation
08/05/05 - It's never too late
07/22/05 - Citizens, stand strong - DO NOT NEGOTIATE!
07/15/05 - PRESS RELEASE - Problems on Ava Landfill Site
07/08/05 - The truth must be told
07/07/05 - WBRV Statement #5 - DANGER to our drinking water
07/06/05 - WBRV Statement #4 - Polluting landfills kill
07/05/05 - WBRV STATEMENT #3 - Boonville Poll Not Official
06/29/05 - WBRV Statement #2 - Landfills provide NO benefits
06/27/05 - WBRV Statement #1 -Towns must stick together
06/24/05 - Waste to energy facilities better alternative
06/17/05 - Boonville boards break agreement
06/17/05 - Slope failure sends mud into Moose Creek AGAIN!
06/12/05 - Environmentally safe alternatives to landfills
05/27/05 - Town of Ava will file an appeal
05/22/05 - Dynamite blasting on landfill site?
05/15/05 - Oneida County in Trouble
05/08/05 - FACTS and What You Can Do
05/01/05 - Community Gathers for Prayer Service
04/24/05 - Personal Letter to NYS Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi
04/17/05 - Power of Prayer
04/03/05 - The Waste Authority Must Be Stopped!
03/27/05 - Letter to NYS Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi
03/20/05 - OHSWA Propaganda
03/13/05 - Letter to Griffo - Put Words into Action!
03/06/05 - Get involved in your community
02/27/05 - Assemblyman Townsend Has Concerns Re: OHSWA
02/06/05 - Power of the Press
01/24/05 - Legislator Pam Mandryck Opposes SWA Reappointment
01/02/05 - Weeks of 1/2 - 1/16/05
12/22/04 - Response to letter
12/12/04 - Senator Ray Meier Favors Ava Landfill
11/28/04 - Proud Heritage
11/14/04 - Oneida County chooses - for the people, or not?
11/07/04 - Letters sent to Governor and NYS Senators
10/31/04 - Ava/Boonville future - NO DUMP!
10/28/04 - Letter to Governor Pataki
10/24/04 - Environment Justice All the Way!
10/22/04 - Press Release
10/17/04 - No Civil Rights for Ava Residents
10/10/04 - Article 78 Lawsuit Against DEC Commissioner Crotty
10/03/04 - 400+ Days and Still Fighting!
09/27/04 - Family Home Threatened
09/26/04 - Important Facts to Know About the Ava Landfill
09/19/04 - Letter from Concerned Citizen
09/12/04 - Small Town of Ava Dragged into Court by OHSWA
08/29/04 - Where Do Your Loyalities Lie?
08/22/04 - Beaver Dam Incident Still a Mystery
08/15/04 - Ava-Boonville-Lewis Joint Boards Resolution
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