“This is the third publication of the State of the Environment of Schenectady County Report published by the
Schenectady County Environmental Advisory Council (SCEAC) to fulfill its mandate to produce and update
such a report on a yearly basis. The report gathered available data from diverse sources including, national,
state, county and local governments to assess major aspects of the environment of Schenectady County. The
report reflects the state of the Schenectady County environment in 2001. Data utilized in the report was
released in 2002 or before. It was the intent of this report to facilitate the assessment of the County’s
environment by taking the work of a myriad of environmental agencies and isolating data relevant to
Schenectady County. Although this report was limited by resources and time, it is hoped that it will be a
valuable tool to elected and appointed officials as well as the general public in assessing trends, identifying
problems and allocating resources. In many cases 2001 data is not available, in which case the most recent
data available was used. Below are some of the major findings.
The Environment of Schenectady County appears relatively healthy. An effective solid waste recovery
program is in place and industrial toxic releases appear to be declining. The state is just starting to monitor
pesticide applications, so trends have yet to be determined. The state and county are working to implement
the best practices of integrated pest management and future reports will be able to determine if pesticide
applications are declining.
There are a number of hazardous waste sites that present some threat to human health and the environment in
Schenectady County, but it appears that reasonable progress is being made in remediating the sites. Some
progress has been made in addressing the problems of brownfields, especially in the City of Schenectady.
Much effort and attention has gone into protecting the water quality in Schenectady County. Threats to the
Great Flats aquifer are being monitored by the Inter-municipal Watershed Rules and Regulations Board and
the recently reorganized Water Quality Coordinating Committee is aggressively assessing issues pertaining
to the other bodies of water in the County.
High ground level ozone levels in the summer months present a health threat primarily to people with
existing respiratory illnesses. Local auto emissions are the leading cause of this problem.
Environmental diseases, in particular Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus, are present but not yet significant
health threats within the County at present. They are being monitored closely by the County and State Health
This report establishes a baseline for both generalized land use information and for wetland acreage and will
be attempt to establish trends and assess their impacts on the Environment of the County.”
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Schenectady County Environmental Advisory Council June 2003.