Lifton Calls for Environmental Review of Seneca Meadows Landfill

Decreased quality of life has driven some to sell their homes
June 1, 2007

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WFP-Tompkins/Cortland) announced that she is strongly urging the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to undertake an environmental review of the impact that Seneca Meadows Landfill has on the Central and Southern Tier regions. The agency is currently considering an application by Seneca Meadows for an expansion of their permit.

Lifton sent letters to the Deputy Regional Permit Administrator and Commissioner of the DEC, as well as the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation, Speaker Sheldon Silver and the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Transportation asking for immediate action on this issue.

“Families who live on the state roads in Tompkins County and other counties near Seneca Meadows are having their quality of lives disturbed by these large 18-wheel trucks, many which are waste haulers, driving through our small towns and cities,” Lifton said. “They live with loud noises around the clock and worry about the safety of their children playing in their own neighborhood. Some people have even sold their homes on these routes because of these trucks.”

Lifton believes a way to alleviate some of the problems would be to restrict these trucks from using the smaller two-lane state highways, unless their destination is in the municipality. Lifton is currently working to draft legislation to try to bring relief to the individuals living in these neighborhoods, but she acknowledges changing the current law is likely to be a long process.

“I believe that these large trucks should be restricted to our state’s four-lane highways whenever possible, which clearly are better suited to these large noisy vehicles,” Lifton said. “I strongly urge the Department of Environmental Conservation to consider the negative impacts this problem is having on the environment and the lives of those who live en route to this site. I look forward to working together with the DEC to find a solution for this ever-more pressing problem.”