Dave’s Dialogue: Enuf of Aluf

For too long Aluf Plastics on Glenshaw St. has not been a good neighbor to the people living in Orangeburg. Residents are fed up having to smell for years horrible odors coming from the plastic bag manufacturer. No one should feel sick from obnoxious odors, which is why I am taking action.

On Monday, I joined members of Clean Air For Orangetown to demand this factory do better by the thousands of people who live nearby. People who raise their families in Orangeburg do not want their children breathing in this contaminated air. They want to know the air they are breathing is safe.

In supporting their fight, I have called on the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to investigate the factory’s new air ventilation system, which the company was required to install last year. They completed the installation in November of 2017. Despite this, fumes are still escaping and causing foul odors to fill the air. Worse, Aluf Plastics has often denied town inspectors entry into the plant to determine the problem with the ventilation system.

I have also requested a dedicated ambient air monitor. It can track the levels of fine particulate matter that may affect public health and quality of life. Right now the nearest air monitor is in Pomona, about 13 miles away. Last year in June the air quality at Aluf Plastics was tested for toxic pollutants. Some pollutants and particulate matter were found, but they were within acceptable levels, posing no significant health threat. While that is somewhat reassuring, these tests were only a snapshot of the air quality and may not be the full story.

According to the Journal News since 2016 there have been more than 100 complaints from residents to the town, the state DEC, and Aluf Plastics. Over the years the factory has also been hit with numerous state DEC violations and town violations because of the odors. To make matters worse a recent fire near the plant consumed trailers and a dumpster possibly containing recycled plastic. Residents say the fire caused more fumes to be released into the air. With an accident like this and the factory’s history, it is clear an air monitor would be paramount.

For too long people have been impacted by a negative quality of life, and I will work with residents to make sure Aluf Plastics is held to the highest standards to protect the public’s health.