O'Mara urges Cuomo to sign Finger Lakes Community Preservation Act into law

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 environmental advocates, winery owners, farmers, business and community leaders, and every concerned citizen who have worked together to lead the charge against it. We urge Governor Cuomo to swiftly sign this legislation into law,” said O’Mara. 

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 the following conditions:

• The facility is within the Oswego River/Finger Lakes watershed;

• There is at least one landfill or other solid waste management facility permitted by the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and operating or located within a 50-mile radius of the proposed incineration facility;

• The proposed facility is within 10 miles of a priority waterbody as designated by the DEC.

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.