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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, June 11, 2009

Sewage sites set for review

By Saranac Hale Spencer

ALBANY COUNTY — Several sewage-related sites in the area are set to be reviewed by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation.

Ten sites in southern Albany County are listed by the DEC’s Division of Water as being among the 107 sites in Region IV to be reviewed this year — three are in the top 10 percent.

The DEC has published an Environmental Benefit Permit Strategy annually since it was instated in 1994 as a means to better deal with the increasing volume of State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit requests and updates.  Of the EBPS, the report explains, “This strategy represents a shift from full technical review of permits in chronological order, as they expire, to one of establishing priorities for reviewing permits based on the environmental benefit that will be gained by modifying the permit.”

All but one location were cited for the length of time that has passed since their last technical review.

At the top of the list for Region IV — which includes Albany, Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, Schenectady, and Schoharie counties — is the Bethlehem water treatment plant and reservoir, located in the town of New Scotland.  While the length of time since its last review is listed, the DEC’s report also noted that the total residual chlorine released by the plant “may be an issue,” since some factors may have changed since the DEC last approved the amount that it is allowed to release.  Essentially, the department wants to make sure that those levels are still appropriate, said Maureen Wren, a public information officer in the DEC’s central office.

The reason listed for the last item for the water plant is “triggered antidegredation,” which means that the department will make sure that the permit it approves will, over all, be protective of water quality.

Other sites to be evaluated include:

— The sewage system in the hamlet of Rensselaerville;

— The Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center;

— The Pleasant Street storm sewer in Voorheesville;

— The Northeastern Industrial Park in Guilderland;

— Crossgates Mall in Guilderland;

— The Center for Wisdom and Compassion in Berne;

— The sewer treatment plant for sewer district one in Voorheesville;

— The sewage treatment plant in Altamont; and

— Atlas Copco Comptec in Voorheesville.

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