Description: Lawsuit alleging that the operation of a landfill violated the rights of a local environmental group's members to clean air and a healthy environment under the New York Constitution’s Environmental Rights Amendment.
Fresh Air for the Eastside, Inc. v. New York
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 01/28/2022 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Group Said Landfill’s Operations Violated New York’s New Environmental Rights Amendment. A local environmental group filed a lawsuit alleging that the operation of the High Acres Landfill in the Towns of Perinton and Macedon violated the group’s members’ rights to clean air and a healthy environment under the New York Constitution’s new “Green Amendment” or “Environmental Rights Amendment,” which states that “[e]ach person shall have a right to clean air and water, and a healthful environment.” The defendants are New York State, DEC, New York City (which sends waste to the landfill), and Waste Management of New York, L.L.C. The plaintiff’s cause of action was grounded in part in allegations regarding the landfill’s greenhouse gas emissions and impacts on climate change. The complaint alleged that methane emitted from the landfill was estimated to be “the equivalent to the GHG emissions from 3,267,425,411 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle, or 146,293,092 gallons of gasoline consumed, or 1,436,986,484 pounds of coal burned.” The complaint also alleged that many methane leaks were not being identified or repaired and that “numerous undocumented GHGs are being emitted to the atmosphere and contribute to the Member’s and Community’s unclean air and unhealthful environment.” The plaintiff asked the New York Supreme Court to issue an injunction directing the immediate closure of the landfill or, alternatively, to order the defendants to immediately abate the odors and fugitive emissions in the committee through installation of a permanent cover and daily monitoring. The plaintiff also contended that the landfill current operation “runs counter to the GHG emission reduction goals in the CLCPA.”