Sunday, July 3, 2016

Commercial Landfill Leachate Dumping / Endicott / SPDES permit / Susquehanna River

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 Here is a 130 BBL (5,600 gal) "Stink Truck" just after discharging a toxic load foul goo, just behind the Price Chopper in Endicott.

If you have 6 minutes and you want to get
the gist quickly, watch this:

Who Put the Stink in my Drink?


Here is a more detailed background:

Here's what you see when you enter Endicott from Rt. 26.... almost...
It is a very serious environmental issue affecting the
Susquehanna River, but it is not "fracking waste" per se. 

In 2011, the NYS DEC started a SECRET "pilot program" to
allow typically 80,000 gallons PER DAY of highly toxic landfill
leachate to be imported into the Village of Endicott every day,
minimally treated at the former IBM waste treatment facility
(now owed by Huron Campus/i3 Electronics), then dumped into
the Susquehanna River.

We are now receiving 50,000 gpd from Broome County Landfill,
and 30,000 gpd from Seneca Meadows-- this is over 2 hours away!

(Seneca Meadows in Waterloo NY is part of the
Finger Lakes Watershed, which is part of the Great Lakes Watershed,
which drains into the Saint Lawrence River. )

Seneca Meadows has accepted about 9,000 tons of drill
cuttings from PA fracking operations, however in terms
of relative quantities, it is fairly low. This is one concern, but
certainly not our sole concern.

Here is a link to the 2015 Annual Report for Seneca Meadows. Warning: it's big: 315 MB:

The area of the outfall where the poisons are dumped is coincident
to the shallow water well (under the Susquehanna River) which is
the Village of Endicott's primary water source. 

Two citizen activists affiliated with the Western Broome Environmental
Stakeholders Coalition (Mark Bacon, Jim Little)
first told me about this back in April 2013, after a valve on a rusty
holding tank broke, dumping at least 17,000 gallons of raw,
unprocessed leachate into the storm drains, which dump directly
into the Susquehanna River.

Photo of i3 Electronic's rusty tank which leaked 17,000 gallons of raw
unprocessed landfill leachate into the Susquehanna River
I joined the investigative team then, as did Scott Lauffer with
Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter.

It really took us about a year to put all the pieces together, and
required several FOIL requests of SPDES permits and other
documents. I even followed some of the trucks 2 hrs away,
to Seneca Meadows and another to Williamsport PA.

That summer, the smell in downtown Endicott was unbearable.
People who went to the Price Chopper (on the other side of the
RR tracks from the waste treatment facility). People were walking
around with their shirts over their heads.

Here're my first posts about what we learned (Oct 2013):
"What Stinks in Endicott?" parts 1+2

We complained to the DEC about this and demanded an
informational session. 2/6/2014  VIDEO pt 1 --  VIDEO pt 2

The DEC told us i3 Electronics put carbon filters on the tanks
to control the odor, so the stench is much reduced. But the
dumping is still going on. 

Mary Jane Peachy with NYS DEC (now retired) told us the
SPDES* permit is expired and up for renewal. Three years later
it is still in the works.

Here is our second meeting with DEC, video by Vera Scroggins:
For those who don't know, the State Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System (SPDES) permit program is a Clean Water
Act permit which is administered by the State of NY.

Even the name of this program is PSYOPS.

The DEC says:

The SPDES program is designed to eliminate the pollution of New York waters   and to maintain the highest quality of water possible....  Source:

But it has nothing to do with eliminating pollution!!

Nearly 2 million gallons of poison per month!

So much was revealed by NYS DEC in the last meeting:
  • All permits are approved after some basic checks. But in no way are they "Rubber Stamped". 
  • DEC does not evaluate the character of the applicant, and issues permits even to applications with a known history of causing contamination due to deliberate actions, negligence, or incompetence. 
  • DEC almost never assesses any fines for violations.
  • DEC never performs safety or compliance inspections of the physical plant, including NO CHECKS of the physical integrity of the tanks. (One leaked 17,000 gallons in Feb 2013)
  • DEC never performs independent audits of effluent
  • All of the testing is by "Self Reporting!"
This last point is illustrated by the following cartoon:

The DEC published the public notice of the availability of the Draft Permit in the ENB on June 29, 2016.

Summary of Completed Applications in Region 7
Facility Comment Date Location Permits
Broome County
I3 Electronics, Inc. Jul 29, 2016 Union Industrial SPDES - Surface Discharge


I3 Electronics Inc
1093 Clark St
Endicott, NY 13760


I3 Electronics, Inc.
1093 Clark St
Endicott, NY 13760

Application ID:


Permit(s) Applied for:

Article 17 Titles 7 & 8 Industrial SPDES - Surface Discharge

Project is Located:

Union, Broome County

Project Description:

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing a Department Initiate Modification (DIM) to the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (SPDES) Permit (NY#0003808), pursuant to 6 NYCRR Part 750-1.18, and 750-1.19, the Priority Ranking System known as New York State's Environmental Benefit Permit Strategy (EBPS). This modification will also serve to renew the SPDES permit, the term of which was extended under the State Administrative Procedures Act (SAPA).

I3 Electronics Huron Campus Industrial Waste Treatment Plant facility treats wastewater from printed circuit board (PCB) fabrication, PCB assembly, semiconductor packaging and assembly, and related design, development and testing activities from i3 Electronics, Inc. Additionally, the industrial waste treatment plant provides treatment for on-site tenants of the campus, and off-site customers, which includes landfill leachate. The facility has a design flow of 3 MGD and discharges treated surface wastewater via Outfall 001 to the Susquehanna River, a class A water.

The following changes to the permit are proposed: Whole Effluent Toxicity testing action levels have been added; Total Cyanide sample type has been changed from 24-hr composite to grab; Monitoring and limits for specific parameters have been added; Twelve month load limits for Total Nitrogen and Total Phosphorus have been added; Sampling frequency for Toluene, Xylene and Trichlorotrifluoroethane (Freon 113) have been increased from quarterly to monthly; A Schedule of Compliance has been added to require the submittal of a Nutrient Removal Study for the reduction of Total Nitrogen in the effluent; A Schedule of Submittals has been added for a short term high intensity monitoring report for Total Coliforms, and an influent scan of Dr. Reddy's Laboratory wastewater; Limits for Methylene Chloride, 1.1.1-Trichloroethane, and Toluene have been reduced; Available chronic and acute dilutions have been reduced. The permit format has been updated and incorporates the latest general conditions. Details of changes are specified in the draft permit and fact sheet.

Availability of Application Documents:

Filed application documents, and Department draft permits where applicable, are available for inspection during normal business hours at the address of the contact person. To ensure timely service at the time of inspection, it is recommended that an appointment be made with the contact person.

State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) Determination:

Project is an Unlisted Action and will not have a significant impact on the environment. A Negative Declaration is on file. A coordinated review was not performed.

SEQR Lead Agency:

None Designated

State Historic Preservation Act (SHPA) Determination:

The proposed activity is not subject to review in accordance with SHPA. The application type is exempt and/or the project involves the continuation of an existing operational activity.

Coastal Management:

This project is not located in a Coastal Management area and is not subject to the Waterfront Revitalization and Coastal Resources Act.

DEC Commissioner Policy 29, Environmental Justice and Permitting (CP-29)

It has been determined that the proposed action is not subject to CP-29.

Opportunity for Public Comment:

Comments on this project must be submitted in writing to the Contact Person no later than Jul 29, 2016.


Teresa Diehsner
NYSDEC Headquarters
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233

When the DEC "public noticed" this draft permit, they said,

"This SPDES permit is being modified and renewed under the Environmental Benefit Permit Strategy..."
More PSYOPS! They call this an "Environmental Benefit" !!!
You can't make this stuff up, friends....

Here is the state of things now:

DEC just "Public Noticed" this with a tiny notice in the July 1st edition
of the Binghamton Press and Sun Bulletin.

You can read that, right?
Here's a better view:

Original Letter

This starts the clock for the 30 Day Comment Period.


Here is a link to the Permit Application documents, obtained by FOIL:

PLEASE join me in filing a short comment to the DEC
right away, asking for

1) a total 90 day comment period,

2) A series of informational sessions on the permit in
Endicott, and downstream communities Owego, and Waverly,
followed by

3) A series of Public Hearings in Endicott, Owego, and Waverly
on the permit.

Send to:

Teresa Diehsner
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233
(518) 402-9167

In Regards to:

NYSDEC Region 7
Application ID: 7-0346-00032/00007

Permits(s) Applied for: 1 - Article 17 Titles 7 & 8
Industrial SPDES - Surface Discharge


Conference Call Wed July 13, @ 7pm:

We will be holding a Conference Call on Wednesday July 13 at
7pm to discuss possible strategies on how we can fight this.
The call will be: Wednesday July 13, 7pm
Dial-in Number: (712) 432-0075
Access Code: 129056
This call will be lead by Attorney Rachel Treichler.  Also, 
Dr. Ron Bishop (SUNY Oneonta Dept of Chemistry) will be
on the call to discuss the Reverse Osmosis leachate being
shipped here from Seneca Meadows Landfill. 

Again, thanks for your interest in this,.
Bill Huston

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

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