SCHUMER: ‘AWFUL SMELL’ FROM ABANDONED ETHANOL PLANT IN OSWEGO COUNTY CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO LINGER ALL SUMMER; NEIGHBORS’ CONCERNS FOR AIR QUALITY DEMANDS EPA STEP IN; SENATOR SAYS FORMER PLANT OWNERS MUST ALSO DO THEIR PART TO GET SITE INTO NEW HANDS
On Heels Of Fulton Mayor’s YouTube Video, Schumer Urges Fed EPA To Work With DEC To Ensure Routine Air Testing
Senator Also Pledges Support To Help Untangle Boondoggle Created From Attis’s Abrupt Exit
Schumer: It’s Time For Feds To Stick Their Nose Into Noxious Ethanol Plant In Oswego
Standing with neighbors and local officials, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer pledged to help address the noxious, former Attis Biofuel plant that is concerning neighbors with its grain silo odor and smoldering fire threat, just as summer temps really heat up.
“In the early 1900’s, the aroma that Fulton was known for was chocolate, and now the issue is anything but,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “Right now, we have a two-pronged morass: First, the silo here emits an odor, and while it appears, according to authorities, the air is safe, but it still stinks, and it does smolder, which summer will make worse. Second, with Attis having left town, locals are working day and night to restore ownership and jobs. I am here to help on both fronts.”
Schumer said he is urging the federal EPA to work with the State DEC to ensure ROUTINE air testing that would help alleviate community concerns, but that it should be monitored until a new owner(s) can take the helm of the former plant. Schumer also said the plant could –and should be—a great asset to the county and pledged his full support to making that happen.
“I am asking the EPA to work with the state DEC and ensure the air is routinely tested, especially as the summer temperatures heat up,” said Schumer. “Look, it is basically rotting corn and it has burned a hole into the silo. We want to ensure that air remains safe and get the entire site in new and responsible hands ASAP.”
Schumer called out the former owner of the plant and say they should be a good steward and, if required, help rectify the current hurdles to advance a new owner.
“I know the mayor and others, as well as development folks are working around the clock to get this place into new hands, and I pledge my support to help make that happen,” Schumer added.
Schumer said the site and the plant could be an economic development success story and that fed funds, programs and his office can play a role in helping turn the problem around.
“Between our USDA rural development, other federal programs and dollars that New York state receives from the feds, we can help turn this situation around, and we will work to do just that,” Schumer said.
Last week, after many months, a slow burn in a grain silo at the Attis Biofuels Plant in the Town of Volney reached its odor apex, bothering the people in the town and the city of Fulton, as well. Multiple fire departments have been monitoring the fire. And according to reports, depending on which way the wind blows, the smell of an intense burn from the silo's grain fire fills the air in the nearby streets.
The company that last owned the plant, Attis Biofuels, hasn't been operating out of the property for months, according to the residents and CNY Central.
In 2019, Bio-products company Attis Innovations announced it would purchase the ethanol plant, which is located on the former Miller Brewing site, for $20 million. Company officials told the Palladium Times that the attached 1886 Malt House would continue operations, with Attis planning a series of expansions in the coming two years.
According to the Palladium Times, the former Miller Brewing site in Volney closed in September 1994, before reopening as an ethanol plant in 2008. Sunoco purchased the facility and had been producing ethanol since 2010. Attis said it had plans to transform the facility into a research and development campus for renewable fuels.
Officials, at the time, said the Volney plant could become a “first-of-its-kind” renewable energy and green technology campus for the company’s expanding portfolio that focuses on biofuels and other renewable and sustainable technologies.?
Schumer, today, said all that is going on is plain unfair to Oswego County and the multitude of local governments and neighbors now burdened with this ‘up and left’ problem, odorand abandonment.
“Attis said that would be a good steward of the community. That clearly is not the case, so it is up to all of us to try and right this ship, and that is what we will work to achieve—beginning with the odor,” Schumer said.
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