ALUF VP RESPONDS TO ORANGETOWN CLEAN AIR LTE
Dear Editor at RocklandPost.com,
This letter is in response to recent [Letter to the Editor] regarding Aluf Plastics, Inc. As in any disagreement, there are two sides to this story. And while Aluf has been working closely with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Town of Orangetown, we feel it is important to further communicate with the residents of Orangetown and Rockland County.
Manufacturing here for 30 years, Aluf Plastics has always been committed to being a good corporate citizen. For the past few months, we’ve been working actively and cooperatively with the DEC both to investigate odor reports in the neighborhood and to confirm that Aluf’s air handling and filtering systems are efficient and effective.
Since the surrounding area is congested with other manufacturing operations, two sewer plants and numerous small businesses, the DEC is performing a comprehensive study of Orangetown and all potential sources of odors. Aluf is one of several manufacturers of plastic products in the area.
Aluf is also the largest manufacturer in our neighborhood, and perhaps this is why Aluf is the target of odor complaints. In fact, on many occasions complaints of odors in the community have been logged on days when our facility has been closed. The efforts by the DEC to investigate all area companies in the neighborhood, which Aluf fully supports, will provide more science to this dialogue.
Aluf is doing everything officials are asking and more. We are communicating with the town and the DEC very closely. Odor reports e-mailed to Aluf through firstname.lastname@example.org are logged, investigated and communicated to the DEC. We thank everyone who has submitted these reports, as they can only help in identifying the causes of the problems, and we encourage open and honest communication. Many of these reports show that odors are coming from sources other than Aluf. These reports enable Aluf to immediately investigate concerns and determine which events relate to Aluf and which do not. In addition, as a proactive measure, Aluf’s engineering manager patrols the property line of the plant and adjoining neighborhoods twice a day, investigating for odors independent of any complaints. We are taking all of these measures because we want to find the answer to these issues, just like our neighbors.
Aluf has hired an independent environmental engineering consulting firm to assess operations at the facility and to make sure they are in accordance with Best Management Practices. Initial findings of the firm indicate that carbon filtration for odor elimination is operating as designed. All internal ductwork has been inspected as part of the study and measurements of air flows and pressures have been made and an analysis is being undertaken. The results of the analysis will enable engineers to determine whether the filtration configuration is optimal. Air management systems are maintained and records are kept as required. Accusations that Aluf has done little to address our issues and has “dragged its feet” are simply untrue and are made by either misinformed individuals or those wishing to cause harm to one of Rockland County’s largest private employers. The fact is that a comprehensive study takes a considerable investment in time and money. We all want the outcome of the study to be reliable and meaningful. We are patiently, but anxiously, awaiting the results of the assessment from the third party consulting firm.
Aluf strongly supports environmental efforts. We have partnered with Keep Rockland Beautiful and sponsored the Great American Cleanup, providing trash bags for volunteers to collect garbage. Aluf has also sponsored the Keep Rockland Beautiful Volunteer Wrap-Up Party and participated in the Charity Fundraiser for Keep Rockland Beautiful where Rockland County residents learned about Aluf’s Earth-friendly trash bags – Harmonyx.
In addition, Aluf invests in sustainable manufacturing and recycling solutions:
- Reduce – Aluf minimizes the amount of plastic sent to landfills by recycling over 50 million pounds per year. Aluf is one of the largest recyclers in New York State.
- Reuse – Aluf reuses over 25,000 gallons of wastewater per week.
- Recycle – 50 percent of Aluf’s product line consists of content made from recycled material.
- Reclaim – Aluf reclaims and recycles over 8 million pounds of corrugate per year.
Aluf also contributes to the community by providing full-time jobs for more than 400 employees. Of those, 129 are Rockland County residents. Many of Aluf’s employees are multi-decade employees, all of whose health and safety we guard thoughtfully. Nevertheless, to the extent that Aluf contributes to odors in the community, we are taking very seriously our obligation to assess and to improve our operations and expect other industrial concerns to do the same.
As the DEC continues its investigation into potential sources of odors in our neighborhood, Aluf will continue to cooperate with and communicate with everyone involved.
For updates and further information, please visit our new website launched for the local community: www.alufcommunity.com.
Vice President of Operations, Aluf Plastics, Inc.