Athens Stevedoring & Environmental Development LLC is proposing a new solid waste management and construction & demolition processing facility in the historic Village of Athens, NY. This location is on the shoreline of the Hudson River, sharing a border with the Athens Boat Launch, a New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation boat launch site for Greene County.The proposed C&D facility could have potentially devastating effects on the historic Village of Athens and surrounding upriver communities in Greene and Columbia Counties, including the Hudson River:Processing C&D materials onsite creates airborne particulate matter, “fines,” and odors that can irritate eyes, throats, and lungs, exacerbating respiratory sensitivities particularly for children, the ill, and the elderly. The noise and dust could also devastate local hospitality and other businesses, including nature-based, waterfront activities like duck hunting, striper fishing, and recreational boating.The facility would truck 8,400 tons of debris per week from the site, which means at best, a 40-ton tractor trailer driving through the winding, narrow roads of Athens every ten minutes, at worst, a 20-ton tractor trailer every five minutes. This high-volume, heavily-laden truck traffic will be dangerous to residents and the environment and have substantial negative impacts on the Athens Lower Village Historic District.There would also be increased barge traffic in the narrow Hudson River channel that threatens freshwater tidal wetlands and creeks, would disrupt the use of the boat launch and Village parks, and the increased turbulence could churn up dangerous PCBs resting on the river bed, risking human and environmental health.And if these issues weren’t concerning enough, there is significant risk of contaminated runoff into the Hudson River. The site is located in a flood zone with a current berm height of four to five feet, which is insufficient to protect against storm surge dispersal of debris. Please tell the DEC that they must reject the applicant’s Registration application and instead exercise due diligence to determine whether permits are required, and to initiate a State Environmental Quality Review and thorough environmental analysis.
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