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Our Position PaperTimeline  Article 78 Lawsuit


A recording of Paul Connett’s presentation on Zero Waste, on February 18, is available here.

We won. Thank you everyone!

On February 1, 2021, the controversial recycling law, passed on May 7, 2020, was rescinded by Endicott’s Board of Trustees. 113 people tuned in to the Zoom hearing with 41 out of 42 people speaking for rescinding the law called, A Local Law Prohibiting Recycling Facilities in Industrial Zones.

The recycling law that was rescinded:
• Contained no protections for the health and the environment of Endicott residents.
• Was written exclusively for the benefit of SungEel, the owner of the proposed recycling operation for lithium-ion batteries in Endicott.
• Allowed the use of incineration for SungEel’s processes to recover precious metals, while releasing known carcinogens into the air (see Air Permit of March 30, 2020).
• Left the community a magnet for other industries, like SungEel, who want to use incineration in their recycling processes to set up shop in Endicott.

See Letters in Press and Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton NY)
Feb 7: Never give up: Mission accomplished in Endicott. By Olwen Searles.
Feb 7: How opponents turned back SungEel project. By Paul and Ellen Connett.
Feb 7: Democracy triumphs in Endicott. By Rita Foran.
See News Coverage:
Feb 3: Some Endicott residents call for Mayor Linda Jackson to resignBinghamton Homepage
Feb 2: Residents and leaders react to Endicott’s decision to rescind recycling law. WBNG-TV
Feb 2: Battery recycling facility will not come to Endicott, mayor says. WBNG-TV
Feb 2: Endicott mayor denies inappropriate behavior during Monday’s public hearing. WBNG-TV
Feb 1: Village of Endicott trustees vote to rescind controversial recycling law. WBNG-TV
Feb 1: The Village of Endicott Holds Another Public Hearing in an Attempt to RescindFox 40 News


Welcome to the Neighborhood.
Does the picture below look like an industrial area to you?

The Project was successfully defeated on February 1, 2021, mainly due to the hard work of the residents of Endicott. The Proposal: SungEel, a joint South Korean and American company, proposed to operate a lithium-ion battery recycling plant at 801 Clark Street in Endicott with a battery storage facility located nearby in South Franklin Street. The facility would have run 12 hours a day, 5 days a week to process 1 ton of batteries per hour by using high-temperature incineration. The use of incineration in the recycling process was to capture the expensive metals (cobalt, nickel, and more) in the fly ash. The ash would be sent to South Korea for further processing. The Air Permit that the state issued to SungEel on March 30, 2020, noted that at least four known human carcinogens would be emitted, as well as other toxics. NoBurnBroome’s science group discovered that this project would release PFAS (the toxic forever chemicals) and that they weren’t included in the Air Permit. Upon confirming this, the state put the Air Permit on hold in May. There was near-unanimous opposition to this toxic polluting venture. The state was prepared to invest $1.75 million in SungEel to set up in Endicott, a town that had been victimized by industry for many decades. The last industry was IBM, which had a huge workforce in Endicott. IBM dumped enormous amounts of Trichloroethylene (TCE) into the ground and established the village as one of the largest known examples of vapor intrusion, a phenomenon in which volatile chemicals creep from far underground into the air of buildings above (mainly family homes).


January 7, 2021. Response from NoBurnBroome to SungEel’s press release: Update on Endicott battery recycling project. Binghamton Homepage (NY).

January 5, 2021. A clarifying news article: Struggle on Endicott Village Board. Binghamton Homepage (NY):

Excerpt: The first meeting of the new Endicott Village Board of Trustees got off to a rancorous start on Friday.

During the New Year’s Day organizational meeting, Mayor Linda Jackson proposed hiring longtime former trustee and deputy mayor Cheryl Chapman as a part-time clerk. … However, 3 trustees, Ted Warner, Pat Dorner and Nick Burlingame, voted against the proposal with only Trustee Eileen Konecny supporting Jackson.

The Mayor claims the dispute is rooted in the fact that Warner, Dorner and Burlingame oppose the proposed lithium battery recycling facility in Endicott, while Jackson, Chapman and Konecny have supported it.

“It’s all because they don’t want to vote with me. They want to show that they can run the village, because they do have 3 votes, that they can run the village and do whatever they want. And they’re not doing what’s best for the village. They’re doing what’s best for their own agendas,” says Jackson.

Burlingame, the newcomer who took Chapman’s seat, says he is actively opposed to the SungEel battery recycling project but that’s not why he voted against hiring Chapman. He says the voters rejected her so it’s time for her to go. Burlingame says he and the other trustees can pick up the grant work where Chapman left off.

He says Mayor Jackson needs to adjust to the new reality that she no longer has a solid majority to back all of her wishes.

“We are more than willing to work with the Mayor on any issue that is appropriate for Endicott. We will forget the SungEel issue when it is over. Until it’s over for certain, we’re not backing down. We’re going to stand strong and we’re going to stand together. But, we do hope that we can move on for the betterment of Endicott and continue our great service to the community,” says Burlingame…

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Dec 20, 2020. A good letter: Battery opponents do want industry for Endicott. By Carol Layton, Guest Columnist. Press and Sun-Bulletin, Binghamton NY.


Article 78 Lawsuit Lawsuit Supported
by NoBurnBroome
Donate at GoFundMe
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November 16, 2020, Press Release: Endicott Residents file an Article 78 Lawsuit Against the Village Board of Trustees for Illegally Approving Controversial Recycling Code.

News article. November 16, 2020. Endicott Residents Start Lawsuit Against Recycling Zoning Law. By Paul Beam. FOX 40 News, Binghamton, NY.

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November 3, 2020. Many of the candidates we supported for re-election won!
Pat Dorner and Nick Burlingame were elected to Endicott Trustee, thus turning the 5-person board to one that will side with the residents.  In the Town of Union, Tom Augostini and Frank Bertoni were re-elected to the Council, as was Terry Kellogg in Chenango. Jason Shaw won the Legislator spot for District 8.
November 5, 2020. Endicott election results could derail lithium-ion battery recycling plant. By Jeff Platsky, Press & Sun-Bulletin, Binghamton NY.

 
October 30, 2020. Press Release from Tom Quiter, Candidate for NY Senate. Quiter proposed local referendums for proposed incinerator, other pilot projects.
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Letters-to-the-Editor in Press & Sun-Bulletin, Binghamton NY

November 1, 2020. OpEd. Making Endicott a business-friendly village, by Nick Burlingame.
November 1, 2020. OpEd.
Trustees should work for residents, by Pat Dorner.
Nov 1, 2020. Letter.
Responses about battery plant.
By Paul Connett.
Nov 1, 2020. Letter.
Mayor makes incorrect statements.
By Ellen Connett.
Oct 25, 2020.
Terri Farrell’s unpublished letter.
Oct 25, 2020. Fearmongering by Endicott mayor. By Mark Ponzi.
Oct 25, 2020. Endicott mom against battery site. By Amanda Smith.
Oct 25, 2020. Endicott should learn from past. By George Fiedler.
Oct 25, 2020. My accomplishments in Endicott. By Cheryl Chapman.
Excerpt: “There is nothing constructive the anti-battery people can accomplish with all their lies and misleading information. They have no facts to prove this is not a safe process. Many have said they do not care how safe this is, they do not want any industry in the village, even though this has been an industrial area for over 100 years. EJ’s factories were there long before the houses and ballfields.”

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Oct 10, 2020. Look who’s against battery plant. By Rob Tiberi.
Excerpt: “The incinerator that Endicott Deputy Mayor Cheryl Chapman and Mayor Linda Jackson want in the center of Endicott is opposed by everyone. Some oppose the outright audacity of the idea. Others ask for a full Environmental Impact Statement or for open forums so the public can understand the dangerous dioxins and PFAS that will be spewed into the air.
Below are those who are publicly against the incinerator or demand more studies or information:
1. Online petition with 4,500 anti-incinerator signatures.
2. Facebook group with 2,000 anti-incinerator followers.
3. Union-Endicott School Board — letter to Mayor Jackson on May 6.
4. 57 anti-incinerator residents spoke against it at the May 7 public hearing.
5. 160 anti-incinerator signatures of property owners bordering the Industrial zone.
6. State Sen. Fred Akshar — open letter, Aug. 27.
7. Broome County Legislator Matt Pasquale — open letter, Aug. 27.
8. Broome County Legislator Greg Baldwin — open letter, Aug. 27.
9. Town of Union Council Resolution was unanimous, 5-0, on Sept. 2.
10. State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo — open letter, Sept. 22.
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September  16:  Release: NY Assemblywoman Lupardo Joins Environmental Groups
in Calling for EIS on Battery Recycler

September 16: The NoBurnBroome Science team held a press conference on September 16, 2020 to release NoBurnBroome’s official response to the much cited August 1, 2020 letter from Tom Elter (NYS DEC) to John Ruspantini (http://fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/endicott.nbb-response-to-dec.elter_.9-16-20.pdf ). In our response we revealed that nearly ALL of these batteries contain PFAS and we called on the DEC to revoke SungEel’s Air permit. To access the press conference recording, see Nearly all lithium-ion batteries contain PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances)

September 10: DOD is spending millions, getting rid of toxic foam by burning it near where people live. By Joce Sterman, Alex Brauer and Andrea Nejman, Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Read this excellent news segment on the dangers of burning toxic firefighting foam (AFFF) containing PFAS. It is running nationwide on local Sinclair stations. The reporter did a good job on this story, which will reach millions.
 
The NYS Legislature unanimously passed a bill to permanently prohibit burning toxic firefighting foam at Norlite incinerator in Cohoes on June 9, 2020.  It is unclear if Governor Andrew Cuomo will sign or veto the legislation.  Please contact Governor Cuomo and urge him to sign NYS Senate bill 7880 into law. Governor Cuomo can be reached at 866 946 1451 or go to governor.ny.gov and click on the contact section. He is also on Twitter at @NYGovCuomo or NYS Capitol Albany, NY  12224.

September 9: Study discusses battery recycling method that is safer, greener than the one proposed by SungEel
Exciting science study that sets the standard for model research for sustainability and a circular economy. Instead of using a high-temperature process as SungEel’s, which will inevitably result in the release of very toxic gases into the environment, this process dissolves the valuable metals out of the batteries using a combination of dried orange peel powder and citric acid. Both of these are obtained from food waste. This is a win-win solution for the environment because one waste stream can be used to recover valuable materials from another.

September 2: Town of Union Request That Endicott Not Move Forward with SungEel. FOX40 News, Binghamton NY.

September 2: Press Conference on Updated Position Paper by NoBurnBroome. NoBurnBroome held a press conference on August 31, 2020 to walk through the highlights of the newly updated NoBurnBroome Position Paper, which contains many new developments over the past 4 months regarding the fight to stop the incinerator.

This is what we are up against:
Table 3. Economic value of Lithium-ion batteries components.
 

Value (US $ per ton)

Cathode components 2001 2017 2019
Aluminum $1,250 $2,000 $1,800
Lithium $7,500 $9,000 $10,000
Cobalt $38,000 $55,000 $35,500
Nickel $8,600 $10,000 13,200
Manganese $1,100 $2,000 $2,000
Anode components      
Copper $1,800 $5,500 $5,800
Graphite $550 $1,000 $800

Reference: Mossali E, et al. 2020. Lithium-ion batteries towards circular economy: A literature review of opportunities and issues of recycling treatments. Journal of Environmental Management: Volume 264, 15 June 2020, 110500.


What changed between this Feb 12, 2020 letter written on behalf of the Mayor & Trustees and the Mayor’s promotion of this project in March-April? :

Endicott Village Attorney Robert H. McKertich complains to NYS DEC about deficiencies with the Permit and SEQR docs. 

Read McKertich’s letter of February 12 2020, to the DEC


The July 25 March Against SungEel’s Battery-Incinerator was a success

We had a good turnout (MaryAnn counted 85 marchers). Solidarity and creativity infused the day while singing attempted to lead the way with “We Don’t Want Incineration” to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and an easier popular version of: “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Sungeel Has Got to Go.”  To add to the excitement, the march was filmed by Michael and Nicholas Yacovoni which included a video by drone. The brothers will enter their submission into Life in a Day of July 25 – an international project headed up by film director Ridley Scott. Spectrum News sent a news reporter from Ithaca and the interview captured the spirit of the march – it’s available here.

The following video is from Michael Yacovoni and Nicholas Yacovoni: 

The following photos are from Rob Tiberi:

Screen Shot 2020-07-28 at 12.00.51 PM

Screen Shot 2020-07-28 at 12.01.15 PM

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Screen Shot 2020-07-28 at 12.08.48 PM

 

Recording: The Dangers of Endicott NY Battery Recycling/Incinerator project: NoBurnBroome People’s Town Hall July 2, 2020

Education session followed by Q&A session and dialogue about one of the most significant threats facing the people of Endicott and surrounding communities and how it will affect our health, environment, business, real estate. 


Review of SungEel MCC’s Community Information Meeting June 30, 2020

Recording of SungEel Meeting: Recording: June 30, 2020 SungEel public Q&A


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May 28: 154 Environmental Groups signed a letter to the Commissioner of the DEC and the Head of the Empire State Development Corporation asking for the withdrawal of the $1.75 Million taxpayer subsidy and a Full Environmental Impact Statement.

See Letter signed by the 154 organizations.
See Press Release


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Dear Mayor Jackson & Deputy Mayor Chapman

In response to your Opinion piece published on May 17
Battery recycling part of building
green economy
Are the carcinogens identified in the Air Permit
part of your Green Economy for Endicott?
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Electronic sign on Main Street!

endicott-billboard.may17-2020

May 18: Village of Endicott Board Meeting – YouTube

The Trustees vote of May 7.

Endicott’s Village Trustees voted 3-2 for the Zoning change to allow the Lithium-ion battery recycle-incineration facility to operate in Endicott. Two trustees voted against the Zoning change: Ted Warner and Patrick Dorner. 290 people signed into this Zoom meeting. The vote is being held in abeyance to allow the counting of signatures on the Supermajority Petition.

The Trustees who voted for the Zoning Change said that they trusted the DEC to protect them. Had the residents of Endicott known about this trust they would have told their Board members that the DEC’s Air Permit, legally allowing the release of known human carcinogens, was of no protection to them, and that Endicott residents are still suffering with the cancers caused from chemicals released years ago from IBM and others in Endicott.
See
May 9: Press & Sun Bulletin on May 7 Vote
May 8: Press Release on Vote


 May 16 Press Conference: Don’t Burn Our Future

endicott.3-organizers.photo-by-JaredSmolinsky.5-16-20

The organizers LeeAnna Adams, Lindsey Smolinsky and Mackenzie Forkey at the May 16 Press Conference. Photo by Jared Smolinsky. See more photos here

Press Coverage: No Burn Broome’ Press Conference Brought Endicott Residents Together to Protest the Recycling Incinerator. By Valerie Puma. FOX 40 News, Binghamton NY.


See the location of the facility by drone video by Cody Malchak

IMG_3915

In the photo the 2 stacks are atop the proposed Sungeel carcinogen-emitting facility.
The floodlights for the baseball field are between the two stacks.
April 29, 2020 Press Conference. Photo by Vera Scroggins.


What happens next

No Burn Broome is meeting to discuss the next steps. Please become involved and share your suggestions – sign up here.


What happened at the May 4th Public Hearing?

•• The vote was tabled for May 7
•• Approximately 250 people signed in to the Hearing
•• 57 people spoke out against the Vote
•• One person spoke in favor, but with reservations
•• Click to Watch it in it’s entirety on You Tube (4:48:40)
•• Online Press & Sun Bulletin article
•• Read the Press Release we sent out on May 5.


What happened at the April 20th Public Hearing

•• Approximately 70 people signed into the Zoom meeting
•• The Mayor then cancelled the hearing on the basis that she had questions for the DEC. She never shared what those questions were about.


Know & Share

The Lithium-ion Recycling/Incineration proposed for Endicott is “permitted” to release these Known Human Carcinogens:
2,3,7,8-dioxin; Chromium(VI); Beryllium; Formaldehyde (See Air Permit).
The site is adjacent to 3 baseball fields, a swimming pool, community green, and homes.


Please consider making a donation to the legal fund to help fight the Lithium-ion Battery Incinerator from starting operation in Endicott NY.  You can donate at Go Fund Me.  Note: Do not donate on Change.org as those funds are kept by Change.org.

Fight like you live here!
STOP-the Endicott Incinerator-NOW

ENDICOTT PROPERTY VALUES WILL PLUMMET 20-25%
It happened in every town that got an incinerator.

Even donations of $500 or $1,000 are far less than the amount your home value will drop!
Your generous help is needed
Money will fund the lawsuit against Endicott
(any leftover money goes to charity). This is the best money you can spend. Protecting your own home value.   
Protecting Endicott children from TOXIC DIOXINS.
It’s time to stand up and be counted
Donate now at Go Fund Me     <– defunct 
Please consider giving a donation to the legal fund to help fight the Lithium-ion Battery Incinerator from starting operation in Endicott NY.  Note: do not donate on Change.org as those funds are kept by Change.org.


Our Position PaperGet our NewsletterSign up to be a MemberDonate To Our Cause 10 Arguments Against Proposal Change.org Petition (4,414 signed as of Dec 5)
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