What are they doing to clean up the wasteland ?
Hillcrest is screening the glass, paper and plastic to separate out oversized and undersized materials which are hauled off site for disposal or recycling. The mid-sized glass will remain on site for use in Hillcrest's manufacturing process.
What are some of the long range effects on lungs and breathing of humans because of Hillcrest odors ?
For information on potential health effects, you can call NYS Department of Health at 800-458-1158 or Wyoming County Department of Health at 585-786-8894.
Why was this allowed to go on so long?
Several attempts were made to reduce the odors coming from the pile and to reduce the temperatures in the pile. When those measures failed, DEC and USEPA instructed Hillcrest to break the large pile into smaller piles. That work was done at Hillcrest's expense.
Where did Hillcrest move the stock pile? Are there any other stockpiles away from Hillcrest or OPTA Minerals?
The large pile of glass, plastic and paper was dismantled by a contractor hired by Hillcrest, under USEPA oversight. The large pile was broken down into four smaller piles on site. There are also two small piles of glass, paper and plastic at a nearby sand and gravel pit.
What happens next? Where/when will "the pile" be taken away and Hillcrest closed to become a different type of business?
Hillcrest is screening the glass, paper and plastic to separate out oversized and undersized materials which are hauled off site for disposal or recycling. Hillcrest plans to keep the mid-sized glass on-site for use in its manufacturing process. We are not aware of any plans for Hillcrest to close.
Some of us have heard that the reason that this is such a complex issue is because if there was any kind of "evacuation" area or real problems - then the prisons would also likely be affected and therefore, what would the state/county do with all the prisoners? Until that is figured out... this will be dragged out... Please reply if this is a reality.
We are not aware of any basis for this concern.
What is in the blue drums?
DEC is not aware of any blue drums on-site and did not observe any during an inspection on November 6, 2012. If anyone has evidence of drums, that information should be provided to the DEC and we will investigate. Please provide the location of the drums you observed along with any other information you may have. Complaints can be reported online here: Report an Environmental Violation Online. Or you can call our DEC Turn in Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) Hotline at 1-800-TIPP-DEC (1-800- 847-7332) .
Has the allegation that mercury was disposed on-site been investigated ?
DEC Law Enforcement is still investigating this matter.
What was in the garbage buried inside the pile of glass, plastic and paper?
During dismantling of the glass pile by Hillcrest's contractor, USEPA observed the material that was relocated on-site to be a fairly homogeneous mixture of glass paper and plastic and did not observe any other waste material.
What permits does Hillcrest need?
Hillcrest Industries has an Air State Facility Permit to operate glass bead manufacturing furnaces and abrasive blasting media processes, along with particulate control devices such as baghouses, cartridge filters, drop boxes and cyclones to control air emissions associated with its manufacturing processes. Hillcrest also needs a Multi-Sector General Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity.
What is the penalty going to be?
A penalty is part of the Consent Order which we continue to negotiate.
Aren't you concerned about the workers breathing all this dust in every day?
This has been reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) which has jurisdiction over worker safety.
How often are you supposed to inspect Hillcrest ?
For the Division of Air, inspections are not required at any specified time interval for facilities such as Hillcrest. Hillcrest has been inspected numerous times over the past few years.
There are many health issues in the community (birth defects (deafness); heart problems; seizures; asthma; silicosis; cancer).
For health related questions, please contact NYS Department of Health, Wyoming County Health Department, and your doctor.
Why are all the birds gone/why have they died ?
Same question for frogs and other wildlife. DEC has observed a number active of birds, frogs, and other wildlife at the site and hasn't observed dead birds or other dead wildlife at the site. Any observations of dead birds or dead wildlife can be reported to the Region 9 Bureau of Wildlife during business hours at 716-851- 7010.
As long as Hillcrest is processing glass, will there be glass particulates in the air?
All air permits allow some emissions to the outside atmosphere. Facilities that are in compliance with their air emission permits typically do not have significant impacts on public health and the environment.
Why is there so much glass in the wetlands, right next to the park?
No glass or other fill material was observed during an inspection of state-regulated wetland AT-6, including Attica Memorial Park, by DEC staff on November 6, 2012.
How can a person just fill in the wetlands ?
Depositing fill into state- and federally-regulated wetlands requires permits from the DEC and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Similarly, depositing fill into the state-regulated 100-foot adjacent area surrounding Wetland AT-6 requires a permit from the DEC. Hillcrest illegally placed recyclable material as much as thirty feet into the regulated 100-foot adjacent area surrounding Freshwater Wetland AT-6. The DEC has determined that Hillcrest did not deposit fill into state-regulated Wetland AT-6. The DEC will require Hillcrest to remove the material from the adjacent area and re-vegetate the area.