(UPDATED, May 24: Legislation signed into law) O’Mara: Senate gives final legislative approval to the ‘Finger Lakes Community Preservation Act’

May 24, 2019

Senator O'Mara joined opponents of the project at an Albany news conference last spring.

Senator O'Mara joined opponents of the project at an Albany news conference last spring.

These trash incinerators pose a serious threat to the quality, health, and overall safety of many communities throughout the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions.

[UPDATE: Albany, N.Y., May 24–State Senator Tom O’Mara released the following statement following today’s announcement that the Finger Lakes Community Preservation Act has been signed into law:

“I have appreciated and welcomed the opportunity over the past two years to join legislative colleagues from across the Finger Lakes region to fight for this critical new law. These trash incinerators are a serious threat to the quality, health, and overall safety of many communities throughout the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions. The Finger Lakes Community Preservation Act is a great credit to everyone who worked together and with all of us to secure its enactment, including winery owners, farmers, business and community leaders, and many concerned citizens.”]
 

Albany, N.Y., March 20—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) today released the following statement on the Senate’s unanimous, final legislative approval of legislation he co-sponsors to prevent the proposed Circular EnerG incinerator project at the former Seneca Army Depot in the town of Romulus in Seneca County from moving forward:

“I have appreciated and welcomed the opportunity over the past two years to join Senator Helming, Senator May, and many legislative colleagues to fight for the enactment of this legislation.  This proposed trash incinerator has stood as a serious threat to the quality, health, and overall safety of many communities throughout the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions.  The action to stop it is a great credit to the winery owners, farmers, business and community leaders, and every concerned citizen who have worked together in opposition. We want to be known for our wine and our tourism, not our landfills and not our garbage truck traffic.  We urge Governor Cuomo to swiftly sign this legislation into law.” 

[watch Senator O'Mara's comments on the floor of the State Senate earlier today]

The legislation (S.2270/A.5029), known as the “Finger Lakes Community Preservation Act,” was approved by the state Assembly last week and will now to go Governor Andrew Cuomo for final action.  If signed into law by the governor, it would prohibit the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) and others from issuing a waste-to-energy permit for a proposed trash incinerator under certain conditions.

Opponents of the Circular EnerG project have stressed that the incinerator would produce toxic ash from burning a range of solid wastes that can vary widely in chemical output, making compliance with emissions and toxic waste limits difficult. Siting a trash incinerator in the Finger Lakes region, with the associated impacts of air and ash pollution, would damage local tourism as well as the wine and agricultural industries.

O’Mara and other opponents have also noted that the incinerator would require the daily delivery of more than 2,500 tons of trash, transported by heavy trucks, across Southern Tier and Finger Lakes roadways and throughout area communities.