Letter to Susan Ackerman, Regional Permit Administrator NYSDEC Region One - Meng Calls on NYSDEC to Give Queens Communities Fair Consideration Regarding Rail Waste Services


Date: Nov. 2, 2022
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Transportation

Dear Ms. Ackerman,

I write to express my concerns regarding Peconic Environmental Service's application to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to operate a new solid waste facility in Medford, New York. The new facility would export roughly half a million tons of solid waste annually through parts of my Sixth Congressional District via rail. For years, pollution from inadequately containerized rail waste cars has threatened the quality of life and health of the communities it passes through. Without taking these concerns into account, this project threatens overburdened communities.

Since joining Congress in 2012, I have been fighting to strengthen the rules governing the rail-by-waste industry that has been a detriment to communities in Queens. Rail cars carrying construction and demolition waste, the same waste the Medford facility would export, have leaked contaminants and spilled debris into residential neighborhoods in Queens. Aligning with the NYSDEC's mission statement to "conserve, improve and protect New York's natural resources and environment and to prevent, abate and control water, land and air pollution," I ask that the concerns of these communities be given full and fair consideration when reviewing Peconic Environmental Service's application.

I encourage all involved parties, including NYSDEC, elected officials, and members of the affected communities, to ensure the best outcome for New Yorkers' health, environment, and quality of life . I appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to your response.