State testing to take place at the Old Palymra landfill

Local News

A rusty gate is the only thing left of the Old Palymra Landfill on Garnsey Road. The 6.8-acre municipal land-fill was closed in the late 1970s.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation detected perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in 2017, and 2018 samplings. These findings caused the site to be designated as a potential state superfund. The town of Palymra, along with DEC, is conducting a site characterization study to determine if the location meets requirements for placement on the State Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites. 

“A little concerned, cause of my child…cause I don’t know if it’s gonna affect her more, faster than me,” said Palymra resident Shelbi Schneider. 

Town Supervisor Ken Miller said that landfill has been closed for decades, but questions about contamination caused the town to partner with the Department of Environmental Conservation.

One business owner said it’s better to look now instead of later.

“Everything like this, disasters, it always gets worse over time. So it needs to be taken care of now, nip it in the but, I mean, I’m glad it was caught now before it got worse than what it did,” said James Rufus, Sinner Tattoo.

Miller is confident that there are no risks to residents, but some neighbors say they’re not getting enough information.

“I want to know what’s gonna happen you know based on the landfill, how it’s gonna affect us, how it’s gonna affect land taxes there’s a lot of things they’re not telling us about this issue,” said town resident Autum Hellinger. 

In the coming weeks, the town of Palmyra will work with the Department of Environmental Conservation to conduct a background review, more sampling and groundwater monitoring to determine if hazardous waste is present or poses a threat.

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