A judge has issued a preliminary injunction in the state lawsuit against the Norlite hazardous waste incinerator and aggregate production facility in Cohoes. The judge ruled that Norlite was a nuisance and outlined corrective steps they must take in 90 days to improve its operation. As some local residents noted however, the agreement is similar to ones that DEC has made with Norlite over the last 3 decades without significant improvements occurring.
The judge has not yet ruled on the motion by Lights Out Norlite to intervene in the case. The Attorney General said she would support having the citizen group join the public nuisance part of the case but wants to block the effort to bring in the recent state constitutional amendment that guarantees the right of New Yorkers to clean air and water.
“It is good to see that a judge has recognized that Norlite is a public nuisance. Residents, however, are fed up by repeated promises by Norlite and DEC over decades to clean up their act. We plan to vigorously pursue legal and legislative action to finally end this nightmare with Norlite, and enforce the right to clean air and water. It is disappointing that the State Attorney General is not willing to stand up for an environmental justice community. We want Norlite shutdown, with state officials committing to finding well-paying jobs for the existing employees,” said Mark Dunlea, chair of the Green Education and Legal Fund. Lights Out Norlite is a project of GELF.