Residents react to newly released information on the Norlite facility


COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Residents at the Saratoga Sites Apartment complex are frustrated with the newly released information on the Norlite facility.

Debra Hill grew up in the Saratoga Sites Apartments. She says the view from her window is dirty. Her front yard outlooks the Norlite, LLC plant. “Back then, the snow wasn’t white. It was black. It had a black coating because it was so dirty. You see this dust of dirt and we have to run in the house because it’s disgusting. It stinks. You see it on the vehicles,” says Debra.

Debra is used to the fumes. She’s used to the scent, the sight, the sounds from the facility. She understands the purpose of the plant, but doesn’t agree it’s in the right spot. “What can you do…they have to live too. But, they don’t have to kill us in the meantime,” she adds.

“We are cooperating with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to evaluate our facility’s existing state-approved dust plan and identifying necessary investments to improve our dust suppression program.”

Norlite Spokesperson

In the fight for environmental justice, Joe Ritchie is the Executive Director of Saratoga Sites Against Norlite Emissions, also known as SSANE. Joe was a voice in this morning’s ZOOM news conference call. He wants to shut Norlite down. “They have been polluting the community for way too long — the City of Cohoes admitted to becoming a green city,” says Joe.

Assemblyman John McDonald weighs in. “We want to make sure they are living in a healthy environment,” says McDonald. The assemblyman is working with Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler. In a statement from Mayor Keeler’s office, it reads in part: “Our focus has been and remains on protecting the health and safety of our residents. This includes a focus on issues regarding soil and water testing to determine what, if any, health and environmental impacts resulted from incinerating nearly 2.5 million pounds of firefighting foam containing PFAS chemicals in 2018 and 2019, on the status of the Fugitive Dust Control plan, on potential discharge of contaminated water into the Salt Kill which flows into the Hudson River, and on the most recent extremely disturbing information about the volume of mercury allowed to go into the atmosphere as part of Norlite’s incineration of hazardous waste.”

Debra is willing to do what it takes to help local leaders find answers. “If any tests can be taken, for us, i’ll be volunteering. i mean blood, hair, whatever, whatever they wanted,” says Debra.

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