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Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WFP-125AD, Tompkins/Cortland) announced Thursday that a bill she co-sponsors to protect the Finger Lakes Region from construction of new trash incinerator facilities has passed the Assembly. The bill would prohibit issuance of required permits for incinerator facilities in the region, including the proposal to build a new trash incinerator on a 48-acre parcel of the Seneca Army Depot in Romulus, which has caused widespread concern throughout the Finger Lakes.

After hearing about the proposed project last year, Lifton brought the issue to the attention of her colleague, Assemblymember Michael Cusick, Chair of the Assembly Energy Committee and worked closely with him to draft the bill. The Assembly then worked with the Senate to get a companion bill that could become law.

"I was proud to co-sponsor this bill, and I'm very pleased that it has now passed the Assembly," said Lifton. "The proposed project in Romulus carries significant risks to the health and welfare of our region and all our communities, and experts have told us that it could be very damaging to the local environment. Wineries and local businesess throughout our region have also weighed in on the project, expressing concern that an incinerator could have a devastating impact on the local agriculture and tourism industries."

Lifton explained that a state bill is necessary because, under the current Article 10 state siting law, a trash incinerator could be built even if it violates local zoning ordinances. This bill prevents permitting of any new incinerator in the region. Lifton expressed hope that the Senate will pass this bill and that the Governor will sign it into law.

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