Featured Letter: Supervisor Russell on gasification plant

TIM KELLY PHOTO | Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell “clarifies” some points on a gasification plant proposal.

To the Editor: 

I would like to clarify the facts regarding a story that appeared in last week’s issue regarding the gasification plant proposal at our transfer station.

First, there is no plan to bring garbage in from other communities. The proposal was to charge Southold $50 a ton for garbage produced only in Southold Town, which is approximately 15,000 tons per year.

Second, people should remember that this proposal was just that — a proposal. This Town Board does not discourage discussion on issues and generally allows people who approach us to come to work sessions to be heard. Nobody should confuse that with support for this or any proposal that we have been presented with over the years.

Our ability to listen to a proposal, any proposal, then sort out the sales pitch from the facts is what allows us the opportunity to be open-minded without naively rushing willy-nilly into something that is ultimately not a good idea.

While the technology that is the focus of this discussion is, as I understand, part of the governor’s master plan for New York State, we recognize that there a many questions that need to be answered and many aspects of this proposal that need to be evaluated before we can conclude whether or not this is good for Southold Town.

To be sure, the idea of trucking our refuse off of Long Island is not economically or environmentally sustainable over the long term and we need to address that fact. The Town Board remains committed to finding a long-term solution to the issue. Whether or not this proposal can help us address the problem is something that we cannot answer without first taking a long and hard look at the specifics.

Scott Russell, Southold Town Supervisor