FAYETTE — Under the state’s Article 10 process now underway to review the $365 million waste-to-energy incinerator in Romulus, U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are listed as stakeholders.
Schumer came to Ventosa Vineyards Friday to say he plans to take advantage of that status to “do all in my power’’ to oppose the planned incinerator.
Gillibrand’s office issued a statement Friday saying she’s also opposed to the project.
“The Finger Lakes region relies on its abundant natural resources for its tourism and agricultural economy and we should not be putting those resources at risk,’’ Gillibrand said in the release.
Welcomed by a crowd of sign-carrying incinerator opponents, Schumer called the Circular EnerG LLC proposal to burn 2,640 tons of solid waste daily in the Finger Lakes “very troubling.’’
“The plant would result in the emission of chemicals of which we don’t know how harmful they can be. There are so many new chemicals in products that are thrown away today. Look at the illnesses firefighters are experiencing from the chemicals,’’ Schumer said.
He noted the 48-acre site on the former Seneca Army Depot is fewer than 4 miles from the shores of Seneca and Cayuga lakes.
“This plant would destroy those beautiful vistas. The plant would only be 3,200 feet from the Romulus school and there would be 238 trucks carrying trash from all over on local roads each day. And then rail cars would come too. ...
“All these things are terrible. It’s a danger to the health and economy, a dagger to the heart of tourism and I’m here to say I’ll do all I can to stop it from advancing further,” Schumer said to applause from the crowd on hand.
Circular EnerG has no experience building or operating such a project, added Schumer, who also vowed to oppose the granting of a federal air permit for the project.
State Sen. Pam Helming, R-54, of Canandaigua, was also present and again objected to the project, citing many of the same reasons as Schumer and other opponents.
She touted her recent bill to remove a waste-to-energy plant from the Article 10 electric generating siting process, moving the decision to the town of Romulus.
“The Finger Lakes are natural treasures and I am committed to continuing to work with my colleagues in the legislature, the governor and our federal representatives to protect and enhance our environment and our communities,’’ she said.
Some Assembly members are talking about amending the bill to remove incinerators from Article 10, which concerns Helming.
“I don’t think it will pass if it’s amended. It needs to stay as written and I will fight for that,’’ she said.
Both Schumer and Helming said the protection of the Finger Lakes is a non-partisan issue and that the fight won’t be over until Circular EnerG withdraws its application.
Joseph Campbell, president of Gas Free Seneca, applauded Schumer and Helming and urged citizens to continue lobbying against the project.