A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 Dec. 1993 to Jan. 1994

A Review, by State, of Operating Municipal Solid Waste Incinerators.
# 17: Hudson Falls to Rome, NEW YORK

The 17th of our 24-part series continues the review of waste-to-energy MSW incinerators, including references to Waste Not issues. Vendor/Operator from GAA’s 1993 edition. Type: M=Mass Burn; R=RDF. Tons-Per-Day is incinerator design capacity. APC = Air Pollution Controls: 1-ESP. 2-Baghouse. 3-Dry Scrubber. 4-NOx Control. 5-Wet Scrubber.


LOCATION O = OPERATOR Type APC On-Line 1988 1991 1993

NY Hudson Falls76 V: FOSTER WHEELER M 1,3 1992 - 400 400

Washington Co. O: Adirondack R.R.Assoc.

Huntington L.I.77 V/O: OGDEN MARTIN M 2,3,4 1991 - 750 750

Islip, L.I. V: Montenay/Westinghouse/ M 2,3 1989 - 518 518

Penn. Energy O:Montenay

Long Beach, L.I. V: (orig.Montenay/Catalyst) M 1 1988 200 200 200

O: Long Beach Recycling & Recovery

Niagara Falls78 V/O: American Ref-Fuel R 1 1980 2000 2000 2000

Rome79 V: Clear Air/R.W. Taylor M 1 1985 200 200 200

Oneida Co. Steel Co. O: Authority

76. Hudson Falls, Washington County, New York. NY State gave $1.7 million out of the 1972 State Environmental Quality Bond Act to subsidize this grossly oversized 2-county project (they generate a total of 150 tpd for a put-or-pay contract on a 400 tpd). To attract waste, tip fees are lower for out-of-county wastes than for towns in the 2-county project. Sited in PCB-contaminated area. Hudson Falls is the most litigated MSW incinerator in the U.S. Washington County is suing to void the incinerator contracts -the trial is set for 1995. Over 320 citizens were sued by Warren County for $1 1/2 million allegedly for hiking up the costs of the incinerator bonds because of their ‘involvement’ -- citizens countersued. In October 1993 a federal court jury found that Warren County violated the constitutional rights of the citizens --Warren County is appealing. The ‘father’ of the project Robert Barber and his sidekick, former county supervisor, William Nikas, are up on bribery and conspiracy charges in connection with the development of the incinerator. Other lawsuits involving the incinerator are too numerous to cite here. Waste Management Inc. bought out Robert Barber’s trash operation in 1992. Barber described his trash operation as the largest one north of Albany According to GAA 1993*: “Insufficient trash stream has led to money shortage; NYS DEC approved operation of plant at 10-% over capacity to increase electricity revenues..”--p 436. Because of a highly disputed Health Risk Assessment prepared for this incinerator, the N.Y. State Department of Environmental Protection did not approve it prior to the plant being built or starting up. The DEC stated that it would perform the Health Risk Assessment after test burn results were available. The stack emission tests were done from February to May 1992, but the DEC has not published the Health Risk Assessment as it had promised. The stack emission tests were run before the facility began to accept industrial wastes. In the summer of 1993 there was discussion about accepting medical wastes. When citizens asked for the Health Risk Assessment, the discussion of burning medical waste disappeared. Smith Barney acted as Senior Financial Manager. Harold Crooks wrote about this incinerator in his 1993 book Giants of Garbage, pp 241-244, published by James Lorimer & Company, Toronto, Canada. For more information contact: Mel MacKenzie at 518-692-9626 or Stephanie Wenk at 518-692-7595. See also WN #s: 3,78,136,194,195,196.

77. Huntington, Long Island, New York. NY State gave $14 million out of the 1972 State Environmental Quality Bond Act to subsidize this incinerator. The New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation provided $176,550,000 in bonds for this incinerator. These bonds are tax exempt. Combustion Engineering was awarded the original contract to design, build and operate this incinerator but pulled out of the project in April 1989. Combustion’s spokesman, James Aiello said his firm was concerned about various problems, including a power purchase agreement and “some abiding concerns in reference to the site.’ The town is conducting borings to determine if the site is pollution-free or if remedial action is necessary.”-- Newsday, April 27, 1989, Pact to Build Trash Plant Collapses. According to an October 10, 1992, article in the New York Times: “In Huntington, officials here have imposed new fees on residents. At an emergency meeting Thursday night, the Town Board approved a waste usage fee after Moody’s Municipal Credit Report threatened to lower the town’s credit rating because of its failure to resolve financing for its new incinerator. The fee will cost the residents of the town’s four villages a flat $170 a year per family. Another usage fee, about $500, was imposed earlier this year on town families who live outside the villages...Early on, Huntington officials recognized that the plant was more than their town could handle alone,with its population of about 190,000 and a 1992 budget of $135 million. Before the plant opened, the town signed an agreement with neighboring Smithtown to share its operations. Even with splitting the debt service on the plant, however, it has proven difficult to meet the debt payment....Now, the town is receiving enough trash, but not enough revenue to pay the debt. This week, it almost ran out of its overall payroll money, because it had diverted operating expenses to cover its debt payments...”--Cost of L.I. Incinerators Rise With Trash Shortage, p 26. See also Rush to Burn published in 1989 by Island Press. For more information contact Dorothy & Gordon Gibson, CLEAR, 21 Platt Place, Huntington, NY 11743-3527, Tel: 516-673-9638. See also WN# 79.

78. Niagara Falls, New York. Occidental Chemical Corp. owned and operated this incinerator from 1981 to May 1993, when they sold it to BFI. Foster Wheeler were the engineers/designers/and builders. According to a Kidder Peabody report of May 5, 1988: “Plant incurred elaborate start-up costs [1981].” In January 1986, NY State reported high dioxin and furan test results at which time the state Health Commissioner, David Axelrod, recommended that “Steps be taken immediately to reduce levels of dioxins and furans being emitted in Niagara Falls because of health concerns.” Two years later the second set of test results showed that emission of dioxins and furans doubled despite efforts at “improving” operations of the plant. Despite the increased emission the cancer risk was estimated as half that computed by NY State in 1986. This analysis was performed by Mid-West Research Institute (MRI). According to Tom Webster, “MRI’s analysis was seriously flawed because: (a) it assumed that particulate bound dioxin and furan are not inhaled; (b) it did not examine contamination of food; and (c) it computed soil concentration using the discredited ISC deposition model.” On September 20, 1989: NY State “ordered the Occidental Chemical Corp. to reduce toxic dioxin emissions from its Energy-from-Waste plant...The orders came as the state released a report citing the company’s Buffalo Avenue municipal waste incinerator as a major contributor to dioxin levels in the air...The plant was this area’s top polluter in 1987, according to US EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory. That year, the plant released 3.04 million pounds of toxic chemicals in the area’s air, water and land...The 1987 state testing showed Occidental releasing 66 nanograms per cubic meter of dioxin...The company’s testing the same year showed 112 nanograms per cubic meter of dioxin was being released. Those levels are not considered a health threat, but the state would like Occidental to reduce them to 5 nanograms per cubic meter, said Stanley Gubner, DEC’s regional air pollution engineer. In simpler terms, Occidental is releasing about a pound of dioxin yearly and the state would like it to be about .04 of a pound, Gubner said...”--Niagara Gazette, Sept 21, 1989, p 3-A. In August 1988, Fran Edinger of Orchard Park, NY, informed us that the incinerator, which burns garbage from northern Erie County, Niagara County and Canada, emits annually: 6 tons lead, 0.25 tons cadmium, 1.5 tons mercury, 0.4 ton nickel, one half pound TCDD equivalents, as well as 2,450 tons HCL, 1,800 tons NOx and 1,500 tons SO2. [In 1986 the NY DEC stated that the incinerator “accepts about 130,000 tons of waste per year from Canada. - Page B-21, Draft NY State Solid Waste Management Plan, December 1986.] For more information contact Fran Edinger, 1042 Willardshire Road, Orchard Park, NY 14127, Tel: 716-652-6408. See also, WN #s 4,72.

79. Rome, Oneida County, New York. NY State gave $3.5 million out of the 1972 NY State Environmental Quality Bond Act to subsidize this incinerator. The history of the Rome incinerator has a special place in the history of citizens’ opposition to incineration in the U.S. The Rome-Floyd Citizens Association occupied the no-man’s land between being too late because of poor state policy and too early to be helped by the mainstream of national opposition to incinerators. They had to trailblaze opposition to incineration against tremendous odds. Despite the fact that they lost their own battle to stop the incinerator, what they learned was shared with other groups and helped the early networking which eventually led to nation-wide opposition to incineration. The incinerator is sited next to Griffiss Air Force Base. The incinerator ash goes to the Tannery Road Landfill that prior to accepting incinerator ash, had contaminated groundwater in the area, and is listed on NY’s registry of inactive hazardous waste sites. In November 1990, Waste Not interviewed John Kenna of DEC Region 6 (Watertown) about the landfill. According to Kenna, there are no monitoring wells for this half-million dollar 5-acre cell “because it was already built on a contaminated site. If a monitoring well was down you couldn’t tell where the contamination was coming from. You couldn’t monitor the ash landfill from those wells.” According to Video-Active’s WOW# 2 video, Rome, N.Y., Incinerator, filmed in 1986: The fields adjacent to the Rome incinerator grow corn and beans. “In the fall they are trucked down to New Jersey where they are made into canned beans and mainly baby food.” According to Craig Volland, president of Kansas City, Missouri-based Spectrum Technologies: “In 1985 the Rome incinerator had the second high. Tel: 315-386-8797. For more information contact John Fitzgerald, Rome-Floyd Assoc., 15 North Street, Rome, NY 13440, Tel: 315-336-9048. See also WN #s 123, 124, 128.

*1993-1994 Resource Recovery Yearbook, Directory & Guide, by Eileen Berenyi, Ph.D. and Robert N. Gould, 718 pages, published by Governmental Advisory Associates, Inc. (a private consulting/research group), 177 East 87th Street, NY,NY 10128.

WASTE NOT # 267. A publication of Work on Waste USA, published 48 times a year. Annual rates are: Groups & Non-Profits $50; Students & Seniors $35; Individual $40; Consultants & For-Profits $125; Canadian $US50; Overseas $65. Editors: Ellen & Paul Connett, 82 Judson Street, Canton, NY 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200. Fax: 315-379-0448.