Letter: Don’t change zoning law for battery plant

Your Turn
By Carol A. Layton
Guest Columnist
May 2, 2020. Press & Sun Bulletin, Binghamton NY, page 6B.

As a concerned citizen of Endwell in the Town of Union, I have concerns about the new battery incinerator company project coming to Clark Street and Robble Avenue in the Village of Endicott.

These buildings are in the Huron Campus previously used by IBM. I live only two blocks away from the Village of Endicott border.

I am afraid of the possible toxic fumes and particles shooting into the air from the smokestack causing health problems years later. Even though IBM was an excellent and stable employer in Endicott, our community suffered serious health issues because of their chemical spill. Many people were diagnosed with rare cancers and blood disorders from this spill.

Why would we want to make this mistake again, and welcome another company that is potentially unsafe and unhealthy to the same facility site? Have we learned a valuable lesson from the IBM spill?

I am very concerned about possible fires and explosions that could happen during their process procedure, which includes using a high temperature kiln and afterburner. The operation of this company and potential dangers can be found within the position paper at NoBurnBroome.com.

Several homes are right across the street from the building being considered. Two Little League ballfields are directly in back of the building. The Russian Club, Consol’s Restaurant, Antonio’s Restaurant, Oaks Inn Restaurant, The Son’s of Italy, Joey’s Pizza and Battaglini Bakery are close to the building. St. Anthony’s Day Care Center, Absolute Nursing Home and Northside Park are near the building.

The Endicott Village Board is scheduled to have a public meeting at 7 p.m. Monday via Zoom, and the public is invited to participate and voice opinions to oppose this company from being allowed to operate in Endicott.

At the present time, the current zoning law does not include this type of company to operate within the industrial zoned area. During the meeting Monday, the Village Board will be voting to change the zoning law to add “recycling facility” “as a permitted use,” with the definition being, “A facility for the receiving, temporary storage, disassembling, and processing of a single category of pre-sorted recyclable objects into their component parts for resale. Junkyards are excluded from this definition.” There is no explanation what is meant by “processing.”

The public has not been fully notified about this company being considered for the Village of Endicott, and is coming in under the wings of the announced battery manufacturer, which has been approved. The battery recycling company isn’t even a close comparison to recycling of bottles and cans. This change is extremely vague and doesn’t even begin to address the actual processes used to obtain the end product of precious metals.

This zoning change can’t and shouldn’t happen until the state of New York is allowed to open up again to public meetings on May 15.

Carol A. Layton is an Endwell resident.

*Original in pdf format

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