Albany County Legislator Mert Simpson on the Clean Air Law

At a press conference held on August 26th, Albany County Legislator Mert Simpson discussed why he’s urging Albany County Executive Dan McCoy to sign the Albany County Clean Air Law.

The lawmaker compared the fight against waste burning to the fight against the Albany New York Solid Waste Energy Recovery System plant, also known as the ANSWERS plant, back in the 1980s. The ANSWERS plant was a garbage incinerator in Sheridan Hollow that was notorious for toxic emissions. The plant was shut down in 1984 by executive order from then-governor Mario Cuomo, after a change in wind pattern blew the emissions over the governor’s mansion.

Mr. Simpson describes how families in the neighborhood downwind of ANSWERS had four or more family members develop stage 4 cancer. Mr. Simpson himself is managing what’s known as “smoldering myeloma.” He needs medication to help prevent the condition from progressing to multiple myeloma.

Hear Legislator Simpson discuss why he is urging County Executive Dan McCoy to sign the Albany County Clean Air Law, which would prohibit the burning of tires, AFFF, plastics, electronic waste, low-level radioactive waste, pharmaceutical waste, and any other new waste streams. It would also prohibit the construction of new waste facilities in Albany County. McCoy has until September 10th to sign the bill, which passed in the legislature by 32-7.

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