MOREAU, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Last week, the town supervisor who championed a controversial biochar fertilizer plant coming to town was voted out of office. With his replacement siding with those around the town opposed to the plant, the question lingers – what’s next for Saratoga Biochar?
That question is the subject of a meeting – not connected to town government, but to some of the voices that have spoken out against the project. The Clean Air Action Network of Glens Falls is holding a community meeting on Thursday, Nov. 16, at Moreau Community Center. From 6 to 8 p.m., the state of the project is center stage.
“People who would be impacted by this project are standing up for their rights in various ways, and action is underway on several fronts,” said CAAN chairwoman Tracy Frisch. “Currently we are appealing a court decision in CAAN’s lawsuit against the town planning board for approving the project without adequate environmental review. We are closely watching the permitting process at DEC, and residents are anticipating the new town of Moreau officials taking decisive action when they take office in January.”
The Saratoga Biochar project went public in 2022, aiming to bring a facility to the mostly vacant Moreau Industrial Complex that would process the solid waste from wastewater treatment plants and turn it into fertilizer. Then-supervisor Kusnierz hailed the project as a job creator and a boon to local tax revenue. CAAN, along with the Not Moreau Facebook group and the Moreau United political party, have questioned the safety of trucking hundreds of tons of the material into town per week, citing environmental worries as well as road safety.
Thursday night’s meeting will feature updates on the state of the project and the community efforts against it. Visiting speakers include Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic members Todd Ommen and Sam Pine; Earthjustice attorney Michael Touhana; chemical engineer Denise Trabbic-Pointer; Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP Senior Counsel Phil Gitlen; and Not Moreau founder Gina LeClair.
Last week, the Moreau Town Supervisor seat was taken by Moreau United member Jesse Fish. Fellow members John Donohue and Patrick Killian are also taking up town board seats.