Romulus resident appeals letter signed by zoning officer on Circular enerG proposal

A Romulus resident filed an appeal against interpretations of the Romulus Zoning Code by Adam Schrader, the Town’s Zoning Enforcement Officer, who in response to inquiries from proponents of a proposed waste incinerator classified the project as “renewable energy production.”

The proposal was submitted by developer Circular enerG, LLC, and would allow the daily transportation of trash from around the state by truck or rail for burning at an incinerator facility built at the Seneca Army Depot in Romulus.

The appeal notes that the Zoning Officer’s interpretations are unreasonable and exceed his authority. The proposal is not eligible for a Special Use Permit for renewable energy production because in New York “waste to energy” facilities are not considered renewable. The appeal also affirms that Schrader exceeded his authority as Zoning Officer when providing interpretations for a zoning code he is only meant to enforce.

“The interpretations by the Zoning Officer are invalid and are just one of the many tactics the developer has used to attempt to steamroll opposition to this proposal and sell it as renewable energy,” said Alan Kiehle, the local resident who filed the appeal. “I am most concerned about the likely adverse impact on air quality–especially with the Romulus Central School a mere 3,200 feet away from the proposed site, the impact on Seneca Lake as the lake has already seen alarming growth of algae blooms in recent years and on the reduction of property values as the Town of Romulus would ultimately become the ‘trash incinerator town.’”

Kiehle maintains the proposal would pose an unacceptable risk to the community, and highlights air pollution from the incinerator, which would emit substances like lead, mercury, dioxins, furans, acid gases and nitrogen oxides from the proposed facility’s 260-foot smokestack as a danger to public safety and the region’s natural resources.

“This appeal provides further reason and evidence that shows this proposed incinerator facility, sold by the developers under the false guise of renewable energy, would have devastating impacts on the Finger Lakes Community,” said Joseph Campbell, President of Seneca Lakes Guardian. “We cannot allow corporations to fool us into embracing a project that would release harmful pollutants, negatively affect public heath, create irreversible damage to the region’s environment, and threaten our economy. We applaud Alan Kiehle for filing this appeal and urge the Town of Romulus and Governor Cuomo to reject this proposal.”

“One of my concerns is the adverse impacts on air quality the incinerator will have in the Town and surrounding area. Incinerators emit noxious compounds like Nitrogen Oxides that can trigger asthma attacks. As someone who has asthma, this is very alarming to me,” said Mary Anne Kowalski, Town of Romulus resident and Treasurer of Seneca Lake Guardian.

“I urge the Town Board to disavow those erroneous interpretations and adopt a ban on trash related industry, as it jeopardizes the health and quality of life of local residents, and puts a burden on the progress the region has made in becoming a major tourist and wine destination,” said Yvonne Taylor, Vice President, Seneca Lake Guardian.

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