Cohoes Common Council votes to assess commercial hazardous waste operations

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COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Cohoes Common Council voted unanimously in favor of a proposal to assess the gross receipts of any commercial hazardous waste facility located in the city.  The newly enacted Local Law No. 5 goes into effect in 2021, with the first payment due in March 2022.

Local Law No. 5 imposes an annual assessment of 4% of the gross receipts of any hazardous waste facility located in the City of Cohoes. Gross receipts are all income from the onsite disposal and/or treatment of hazardous waste, as defined in New York State Law.  Norlite LLC on Saratoga Street would be subject to this assessment.

“Since early January my administration has invested enormous time, energy, and resources addressing community concerns related to hazardous waste incineration at Norlite, and there is no end in sight,” Mayor Keeler said.

The mayor says that problems escalated in mid-February with the news that Norlite had incinerated nearly 2.5 million pounds of AFFF firefighting foam containing hazardous PFAS ‘forever’ chemicals. 

This initiative is permissible under New York State Environmental Conservation Law Section 27-0925, enacted to allow a host community to be compensated for the existence of a hazardous waste facility within its boundaries. 

“State law allows us to impose this, and we believe it is the right choice to require Norlite to make these payments, year in and year out,” said Cohoes Common Council President William McCarthy. 

The law requires that, each year, qualifying commercial hazardous waste facilities provide independently audited financial documents to substantiate the calculation of its gross receipts assessment payment.  Payments due in March are for the prior calendar year’s assessment.

In a Dec. 10 letter to Mayor Keeler, the U.S.A. CEO of Norlite’s parent company, Tradebe Environmental Services LLC, Jeff Beswick, indicated that the company would not oppose the proposed annual gross receipts assessment.

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