DEC Just Approved a Large Garbage Transfer Facility in Schuyler County

SLG is Challenging This Permit!

Did You Know? DEC Just Approved a Large Garbage Transfer Facility in Schuyler County? SLG is Challenging This Permit!

County Line Material Recovery and Garbage Transfer facility in Schuyler County 

The DEC just approved a permit to build a 10,575 square foot materials recovery and Waste Transfer facility that will accept municipal solid waste (garbage), construction and demolition debris (C&D) and source-separated recyclables, with a maximum daily thoughput of 500 tons per day. The site will generate 80 gallons of PFAS-laden leachate/day, and increase vehicle traffic by a total of 185 trips/day. PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are contaminants also known as “forever chemicals” that are linked to negative health impacts including cancer.   The project is sited atop a primary aquifer with a shallow water table that ultimately flows into the Susquehanna River and into the Chesapeake Bay. With severe weather events impacting our area due to climate change, the risk of the underground leachate storage tank flooding during an extreme weather event is a possibility. The nearly 30,000 gallons of leachate has been permitted by DEC to be sent to the Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility, where they do not have appropriate technology to remove the PFAS before discharging it into Cayuga Lake. The facility moves us away from our shared goal of creating a Zero Waste Economy and simply exacerbates our growing problem of overflowing landfills.  The company has murky ties to the infamous Casella Waste Systems- a “vertically integrated” corporation with a horrendous environmental track record- that operates by fostering smaller companies with different names and later takes them over.  With Seneca Meadows landfill slated to close in the next 5 years, we are concerned that this proposal is simply a cover for future landfill expansion in the Finger Lakes.  The region already accepts over 50% of New York State’s garbage, and we do not need to take more. The site is less than a mile from the Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area, and within a few more miles of the Newfield State Forest. Please help us stop this ill-conceived threat by making a donation today!

PFAS contamination

SLG has worked diligently to inform the public about these ubiquitous “forever chemicals” found in our water supply. When stonewalled by the NY Department of Health on the level of these contaminants in our area waters, SLG did independent testing and alerted the public to the presence of these chemicals in all of our samples taken throughout the region.  SLG succeeded in working with other organizations throughout the state to get the Department of Health to establish stringent maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for these chemicals in our drinking water, and continues to work toward the goal of protecting the public more robustly from these contaminants that can cause long term health complications, including cancer. SLG worked with NY State Senator Rachel May and Assemblymember Anna Kelles to educate and inform them that there are no regulations in place to test facilities for these PFAS contaminants, passing the risk and the cost for remediation on to the public. SLG’s work has led to the introduction of a bill that would require testing for PFAS at facilities which we hope will pass this legislative session. Please support SLG’s efforts by making a donation today!   If you're concerned about PFAS in your drinking water, Move Past Plastics is offering presentations to learn more about PFAS and how to engage your municipality in testing their drinking water for these toxic bioaccumulating chemicals.

Please sign up for one of the following "Test Municipal Water for PFAS" presentations.

Thursday, October 13th 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
Thursday, October 13th 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Whether you are a municipal or elected leader, water specialist or a citizen, you will be given the information you need to test your drinking water for PFAS or to request your municipality test the community's drinking water for PFAS. 

Data mining and Bitcoin Operations

This emerging technology draws an inordinate amount of energy, and corporations are finding ways to transform old coal burning plants in NY into major carbon emitting gas fired plants that fly in the face of our state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) by circumventing vital climate protecting regulations. SLG partnered with other regional and state organizations to prevent these facilities, like the Greenidge Power Plant in Dresden, NY, from further harming our already fragile environment, which led to the DEC denying Greenidge’s Title V Air Permit Renewal.  During the appeals process, SLG is working hard to have Greenidge’s water withdrawal permit denied, as they’re currently permitted to withdraw 139 Million gallons of Seneca Lake Water every day, and discharge it, hot, back into the lake, potentially contributing to Harmful Algal Blooms and harming our fish and other aquatic life. SLG’s work led to the State Legislature’s passing of a bill that would put a pause on repowering fossil fuel burning plants for crypto mining.  The bill is awaiting Governor Hochul’s signature. SLG will also be appealing the decision on our lawsuit against the Town of Torrey and Greenidge for permitting the expansion of this operation in light of all the harms to the region. Our legal costs are mounting.  Please help us win by making a donation today!

Seneca Meadows Landfill, Inc. (SMI)

SLG has set its sights on New York’s largest landfill, Seneca Meadows, located in Seneca Falls.  This facility was slated to close in 2025 until its parent company invested over $200,000 in the local election to get pro-landfill people on the Town Board.  Now, instead of planning to close, SMI has applied for an extension and an expansion, increasing its height another 7 stories, and operating through 2040. At its current size, SMI already produces 75 Million gallons of PFAS-laden leachate, two-thirds of which, untreated, goes across NY State to Buffalo, Chittenango, Steuben County, and even Newark, NJ- poisoning the people of our great state. The odors of the landfill can be smelled from miles away. The landfill hurts our thriving tourism industry and prevents more sustainable employers from recruiting new hires. The largest landfill in New York will leave a legacy of air and water pollution for generations after it closes; we don’t need to allow it to expand  and continue poisoning the people of New York any longer, and SLG will do everything in its power to be sure it closes. These efforts are costly.  Please support SLG’s work by making a donation today!

Our Lakes Need a Good Guardian

Thanks to you, Seneca Lake Guardian has been the only organization actively working to protect the Finger Lakes from dirty industrial projects and other threats using litigation, political pressure and raising public awareness. Together, we are fighting against projects that negatively impact the health of our lakes, our rural community character, the Finger Lakes Brand, and the success of the small businesses that depend on clean air and clean water for their livelihood. Our lakes are at risk. We need a good Guardian to protect them. 

We need your help! We can’t do this without your generous donations.

Together we can keep the Finger Lakes pristine and protect it from irresponsible development for generations to come.

Please Continue Your Support!

SLG needs your help in protecting our air, our water, our health, our way of life, and our vibrant agri-tourism economy. Can you write to decision-makers? Join our Business Coalition? Come to rallies? Make phone calls? Send Letters to the Editor about important environmental issues? Join our brainstorming sessions? Meet virtually with decision-makers? We Need You! Send us an email to volunteer today:


The many activities we are engaged in cost money, and we can’t do it without your support. 

Seneca Lake Guardian is a 501(c)(3) not for profit so every dollar you donate is 100% tax deductible. Please give generously by making your secure online donation. Or, if you wish to donate by mail, please make checks payable to "Seneca Lake Guardian" and send to:

Seneca Lake Guardian
PO Box 333
Watkins Glen, NY 14891

Together we can keep the Finger Lakes pristine and protect it from irresponsible development for generations to come.

THANK YOU! Our gratitude runs as deep as the Finger Lakes themselves. 

Joseph Campbell, Yvonne Taylor, Jessica Wall

Principals-Seneca Lake Guardian