Gossips got word this morning from a reader about a plan by a company that operates power plants fueled by burning trash to site a facility in an inactive cement quarry at Smith's Landing. The news was confirmed by this article, which appeared in the print version of The Daily Mail on Friday, February 8, but did not appear online at HudsonValley360.
The article reports that Wheelabrator Technologies is "testing the site to see if it is feasible for the facility and the project is about two or three years from fruition." Mark Schwartz, manager of development for Wheelabrator, called the site "ideal for the project" and is quoted as saying, "It's an industrial zone with no repurpose value. There's no use for the land, there's no abutters, there's no disturbance of the viewshed." He also promised it would bring great benefits to the town and the village of Catskill, which experienced a $50,000 loss of tax revenue when the quarry and the cement plant closed.
At the end of the article, readers are invited "to learn more about how Wheelabrator creates energy from waste" by watching a video on YouTube. That video can be accessed by clicking here.
A Google search uncovered two recent reports about Wheelabrator: one from WGBH News in May 2018 about a controversial landfill owned and operated by Wheelabrator in Saugus, Massachusetts: "Environmentalists and Town of Saugus Appeal State Approval of Ash Landfill"; the other from the Baltimore Sun in August 2018 calls the Wheelabrator incinerator in Baltimore "the city's single largest source of industrial air pollution": "Maryland calls on Baltimore trash incinerator to cut emissions of a harmful pollutant by one-fifth." The article notes that, although the incinerator emits about 1,100 tons of nitrogen oxides each year, "It is considered a renewable energy facility under a state incentive program, allowing it to collect millions of dollars each year in subsidies from Maryland electricity ratepayers."
It's not entirely clear if what's proposed for Catskill is a power plant or an ash landfill. Some sources indicate that it is a landfill.
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