Friday, June 4, 2021

A Statement from the CAC

Today, Hilary Hillman and David Konigsberg, representing the Conservation Advisory Council, made the following statement regarding the landfill and the issue of siting a solar array there.
Conversation about the landfill is critical because it involves multiple environmental issues--from the preservation of habitat and viewshed, to the problems of development on brownfield sites, to the rising need to preserve open space in a dense urban center like Hudson--even if that space is still healing and not yet ready for widespread public use.
Photo: Andy Milford
Most immediately, CAC will provide the Common Council with advisories regarding the landfill site. In the long run, though, we will have to focus on the much bigger picture: how to capture renewable energy opportunities throughout the City of Hudson, but without sacrificing important habitat, viewshed, and future public open space. 


  1. Hudson’s greatest natural endowment is its riverfront and associated wetlands.

    Frankly, though, I’m worn out after years of trying to raise awareness for these habitats among the very people who pride themselves on their environmental awareness! Typically, I encounter only the most general knowledge regarding these objectively rare habitats, but then these same people will make lasting decisions on the fate of these places. It’s beyond disheartening for someone who does know the difference, but the sad truth is that people are not very interested in learning for learning's sake.

    That’s why the truism that we must have renewable energy at any and all costs is so nonspecific - and also so banal - that it becomes its own kind of hazard. Yet, that is the implicit assumption at work among those who dearly want to care for nature but have only the shallowest knowledge and appreciation for Hudson’s actual natural history. (The North Bay in particular, even as a quasi-artifact, is among the last remnants of the pre-European river margin. Does anyone here appreciate that? Not that I can tell.)

    The capped landfill above North Bay (first bay) is a noteworthy eco-niche in its own regard, particularly in the greater setting of the bay. It would be misguided to the point of ignorance to spoil this ecosystem in the generalized hope that it will save “the planet,” a phrase we’ve all come to expect from the mouths of developers, corporate hypocrites, and announcers in car ads.

    If you oppose a solar farm atop the capped landfill, expect to be lectured by politicians that you’re not doing your part to save the planet. Please ignore these types to save our bays instead.

  2. Bravo, Hillary and David! Please keep up the good work! (And in our misguided and incompetently run political environment, it's that much more work, indeed.)

  3. Save our Bays! Save the South Bay. Save the North Bay. Please.

  4. how much power is this solar field going to generation 24/7 basis ?? how many houses will it power -in simple terms ?

  5. Too much solar is being sited in fields where it's quick and cheap for the developer. Let's prioritize blighted lands for solar installations.

    1. For instance, the plateau above Charles Williams Park.

      Now, though, the danger with that site is its proximity to the landfill, ONLY because once we're gone new generations won't remember why it was objectionable to place a solar array there, too.

      Commissioner Bujanow's scientists (oops, I mean solar developers) will survive us, forever advertising themselves as progressive change agents. They will exert a continuous interest in the landfill, ready to lecture anyone who prefers mere scenery that they're being irresponsible.

      The best thing we can do now in order to safeguard these grasslands is to build the upland trail across the cap.

      Standing in the way, though, are the costly bells and whistles of the Starr Whitehouse plan. The plan is a good start - no, it's a great start! - but it needs going over to determine what is and is not fiscally "doable."

      Otherwise we just have a brilliant but unaffordable plan. And without the $2 million to build it, the ever-planned trail will perversely help to perpetuate the same threat to the site we've seen before by developers such as Knott, Bujanow, and DePietro, along with their greedy "scientists."

  6. Does anyone have a map of brownfield locations in/around Hudson?

    1. In 2012, the city applied for a grant through the state's Brownfield Opportunity Areas Program (BOA), but it was typical then and now that the public was not included until the very last minute, and then only in order to meet a requirement.

      It took the public two seconds to figure out that the grant writers used the superseded pre-2011 Zoning Code for their build-out figures.

      Consistent with their blundering secrecy, it was immediately apparent that the application and its site maps were anything but complete, and this despite the City's boast that the application and its attached report were exhaustive.

      Among the missed sites was the former Standard Oil depot in South Bay, the existence of which became a controversy worth studying after the City denied it was ever there. (Type "Standard Oil" in the Gossips search field and you may recognize local government's enduring techniques for snowing city residents.)

      But even though the report and its maps were only a partial survey of the Hudson's brownfields, the information provided was useful for the sites that it did study.

      You can FOIL the application and "narrative" from the city's Records Access Manager. The mapping in particular is excellent, with extensive Sanborn maps you can't find anywhere else without purchasing them.