New battery recycling facility in Endicott prompts disagreements

Local News

ENDICOTT, NY – Opposition to a new battery recycling facility in Endicott is growing even though the current Mayor says the project is a done deal.

Members of No Burn Broome held a news conference today featuring two former Mayors at Johnny Logan Park which is adjacent to the portion of the Huron Campus where the plant is under development.

The facility, operated by Sungeel Americas, is designed to recycle lithium-ion batteries.

Opponents say it’s an incinerator that will release cancer-causing dioxins into the surrounding neighborhood.

Former Mayors Mike Colella and John Bertoni were joined by retired chemistry professor Paul Connett.

They say the location is particularly alarming.

“I think it will have an effect on these parks. I think the parents are going to say, ‘Don’t go down there.’ I’m not even sure it’s going to be safe to go to Endwell,” says Colella.

“This is outrageous siting. You couldn’t do this anywhere else in the country. So close to people’s housing, so close to baseball fields. This is unconscionable,” says Connett

Opponents say Mayor Linda Jackson is rushing through a change to zoning laws in the village to allow the facility.

However, Jackson says the facility is already allowed under current zoning and that the changes she’s seeking would restrict other uses, such as garbage transfer stations, in industrial zones.

“They’re already moving in, they’re already starting. I had no say in it. That’s what caused me the urgency. People don’t know they’re here. They’ve already advertised for their plant manager, they’re already advertising for their workers. They are here. It was decided in December,” says Jackson.

Jackson says Bertoni’s administration had already green-lighted the project last year and that the company voluntarily sought an additional air quality permit which it recently received from the DEC.

The village board is meeting Monday evening at 7 for a public hearing and vote on the proposed zoning changes.

Due to coronavirus restrictions, the public participation will be through Zoom.

See below for more details:

Meeting Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88452946080

Meeting ID: 884 5294 6080

Dial in phone number: 1-929-436-2866

The “hearing of visitors” (public comment) portion of the meeting will be suspended, however written comments may be submitted via email to VOEMAYOR@endicottny.com or mayorsec@endicottny.com.

For a public hearing conducted by remote video/audio conferencing, the following rules shall apply:

• Each person wishing to speak at the public hearing will be provided one opportunity to do so. The host of the meeting will unmute each person wishing to speak one at a time and then re-mute them when the comments are complete.

• Comments will be limited to no more than 3 minutes for each person.

• Each person on Zoom who is using video conferencing must use the “Raise Hand” feature if they wish to speak. This is done by clicking on the “Raise Hand” icon on the screen.

• Each person participating by telephone will be unmuted one at a time and provided an opportunity to comment.

• The public hearing is intended to allow the public to make comments. There is no obligation on the members of the Village Board to answer questions or otherwise respond to comments.

• Speakers must present their remarks in a courteous and respectful manner. Speakers may not make personal comments about public officials, Village residents, applicants or others. Comments must be related only to the topic of the public hearing.

• A person who disregards the directives of the Mayor in enforcing these rules, disturbs the peace at the meeting, or makes slanderous remarks while addressing the Village Board, may be barred from further participation and may forfeit any balance of time remaining for his or her comments.

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