A bill to stop the burning of toxic foam has become a flashpoint between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and its sponsors, as the governor’s office pushes to retain the authority to greenlight the practice in the future.
Residents of Cohoes, a small city in Albany County, learned in February that a hazardous waste incinerator owned by Norlite LLC, an industrial materials manufacturer, had been burning shipments of toxic firefighting foam. In response to public concern about the health risks and national press attention, a bill banning the incineration of the foam in Cohoes passed the Senate and Assembly unanimously in June.
Lawmakers and advocates familiar with the negotiations said Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed “chapter amendments” – a short bill amending an already-passed bill – turning the permanent ban on burning toxic firefighting foam into a moratorium, which could be lifted at the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s discretion.
Photo Credit: Marc A. Hermann/MTA New York City Transit