Read the full article by Rick Karlin (Times Union)

“PETERSBURGH — Facing a March 16 deadline, the town board voted unanimously Monday to approve an agreement in which two companies – the Taconic Plastics manufacturing plant and Covanta waste disposal firm – will pay a total of $500,000 toward cleanup of a PFOA-contaminated landfill that has sat unattended for more than two decades.

And the town appears to have gotten a better deal by delaying a vote on an agreement from a few weeks ago that would have yielded less money.

The agreement is also with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which was poised to declare the 22-acre Jones Hollow Road landfill a state Superfund site if an agreement hadn’t been reached.

A Superfund designation would be the least desirable outcome, since Peters-burgh and nearby Berlin would have lost control of the cleanup process, said Petersburgh’s attorney Kevin M. Young, of Young Sommer.

‘It’s a hammer but it was also the only alternative the state had,’ Young said of the Superfund option.

He said over the next year or so engineering and hydrological studies will be done to see how to best contain the PFOAs that have been leaking from the landfill. Overall, the options appear to include filtering or capturing the leachate, or polluted water, or periodically trucking it to awater treatment plant. DEC said the agency will continue to monitor the landfill.

The decision to reach the agreement, known as a consent order, came after some initial resistance and debate among Petersburgh board members, and that led to some changes in the final deal.

The original plan called for $100,000 of the $200,000 from Covanta to come in the form of a loan, but that has been changed to an overall $200,000 payment, said Heinz Noeding, a board member who had earlier questioned the deal but agreed to it on Monday.

And Taconic Plastics had originally wanted to make a $250,000 payment, but that was increased to $300,000, said Noeding. Additionally, the agreements contain a reopener provision: That is, if a few years into the process the remediation costs are too high, the parties can renegotiate and possibly let the site get Superfund status…”