Kingston, NY. – A coalition of organizations and communities from Ulster County and New York State have prepared A NEW PETITION to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Kenneth Adams, President of Empire State Development Corp and Nancy Zimpher, Chancellor of SUNY NY demanding that the controversial Niagara Bottling Company be denied Start-Up NY tax abatements through the program. The group lists seven reasons why such a decision to make the award at this time could ‘confuse the public and inappropriately influence impartial SEQRA evaluation” in the petition released today that is signed by over a dozen organizations and others.
In an article by Country Wisdom News dated February 1st, 2015, a spokesperson for the Chazen Companies, Niagara’s engineering consultant, is quoted stating: “Niagara seems to feel this is a good site (Town of Ulster) and one worth fighting for. They cam back and asks us to go ahead and prepare scoping documents. After the town approves those, the public comment can begin. It’s still early in a long process.”
“If the Niagara Bottling Company is awarded public funds or tax abatements, our coalition is currently empowered by thousands of voters – and this number will certainly grow – to fight back.” the rapidly growing Coalition states in its petition.
Aidan Ferris, President of the SUNY Ulster Environmental Club agrees that Niagara’s business does not meet Start-Up NY requirements regarding the college mission. SUNY Ulster students and faculty have voiced opposition recently with a petition requesting that SUNY Ulster “rescind their proposed partnership with Niagara Bottling Company” signed by over 1300 people.
“SUNY Ulster is in the process of revamping the mission statement of our school to include Accountability and Sustainability. Being responsible to our environment, the community and to each other for the careful use of resources by making data-driven decisions that accomplish the completion of College goals that support the College mission.” Ferris says. “Clearly the Niagara Bottling proposal is in complete contradiction with all the amazing actions our school has taken to lower its impact on the environment. The administration of our school needs to see that in order to be truly sustainable, we need to not only be economically sustainable, but culturally sustainable, and environmentally sustainable too; it doesn’t appear that the partnership with Niagara would be any of the three”
The proposed Niagara Bottling 414,800 square-foot bottling facility would be a new build adjacent to theTech City campus in the Town of Ulster. It would process up to 1.75 million gallons per day (GPD) of water from the City of Kingston’s water supply at Cooper Lake located in Woodstock, using over 25% of its capacity, with plans to truck in much more than that from springs in surrounding communities. The facility will create bottles on site with small plastic PET pellets and dump 342,500 GPD of wastewater into the Esopus Creek that leads to the Hudson River. The Group’s effort is to build a transparent, participatory process based on the facts about this project, having learned that the proposal is being promoted without adequate analysis of its potential economic and environmental impacts. A “Positive Declaration” has been determined and a full public scoping process in the State Quality Review (SEQR) process from the Town of Ulster as Lead Agency is now currently underway.
For more information, contact Rebecca Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org