Cusick: Waste to Energy Facility Cannot be Sited at Fresh Kills

April 3, 2012

Assemblyman Michael J. Cusick (D-Mid-Island), in a letter released today demanded that Mayor Bloomberg follow the spirit and intent of current law and withdraw plans to explore the re-opening of Fresh Kills Landfill as a site for a waste to energy facility. The RFP’s (request for proposals) issued by the City, indicate that Fresh Kills is the only site so far identified for such a plant.

In his letter, Cusick reminds the Mayor that Chapter 107, Laws of 1996, permanently closed the Fresh Kills Landfill effective January 1, 2002. That law, Cusick contends, did not just permanently stop landfill operations at Fresh Kills, it closed the site to all garbage forever. Cusick explained that the 1996 statute specifically states that Fresh Kills shall not accept solid waste for “disposal” beyond the end of 2001. “Disposal”, Cusick maintains, encompasses the “burning of such waste as fuel for the purpose of thermal destruction of waste, and the burning of such waste as fuel for the purpose of recovering reusable energy.” The prohibition of “solid waste” “disposal” at Fresh Kills eliminates the lawful siting of a waste to energy facility there.

“The 1996 law closed Fresh Kills Landfill to all garbage beyond the closing date of December 31 of 2001. The law was drafted for that purpose, and it was the intent of the law to close Fresh Kills to garbage in any form forever,” said Assemblyman Cusick.

“The Bloomberg Administration should follow the spirit and intent of the 1996 law, which closed the environmental nightmare of Fresh Kills Landfill, and immediately stop consideration of any project, including but not limited to waste to energy facilities that involve the transporting of garbage in any form to the former Fresh Kills Landfill.