David Ellis lives less than a mile from the proposed BioHiTech facility in Rensselaer.
If the solid waste plant is built on the former BASF property on Riverside Avenue, Ellis is worried about the potential impact on the surrounding environment.
"The development they want to construct is going to be built on top of a brownfield site, where they would be penetrating the cap on the brownfield and people are concerned what chemicals may be leaking out of that site," Ellis said.
He spoke out against the project during the Rensselaer County Legislative meeting Tuesday night.
That's also where legislature chairman Michael Stammel introduced a bill for a one year moratorium, banning all solid waste facilities being built within a mile of the Hudson River.
"In order to be able to have the cities, the towns, the county, look at these more closely rather than have them pushed through," Stammel said.
Rensselaer Resource Recovery LLC. is the company behind this project.
Their attorney Tom West told county lawmakers this project has gone through extensive environmental studies. He says it found there would be no significant adverse impacts.
"This is a small totally contained facility that will operate on an old brownfield site," West said.
According to West, the facility would collect municipal solid waste, to be processed into fuel and later to be used as a substitute for coal. He says it won't be processing hazardous waste nor industrial waste.
As for the proposed moratorium, West says that won't have any impact on this project, which has received approval from the city.
"The county can not interfere with the local zoning process," West said. "That constitution of New York state and the municipal home rule law protects against that intergovernmental interference."
"What it does do is may be request of the biotech people 'hey let’s take a step back' or the city to take a step back and look at this a second time," Stammel said.
Over the weekend, Rensselaer Mayor Rich Mooney told Spectrum News they're asking the planning commission and the planning board to take a second look at this project.
This project is still being reviewed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Opponents are calling for an independent environmental impact study to be conducted.