JENNINGS VOWS TO AID IN TRIBUTARY'S CLEANUP

DINA CAPPIELLO Staff writer
Section: CAPITAL REGION,  Page: B5

Date: Friday, January 28, 2000

Mayor Jerry Jennings plans to cork several outfall pipes leaking sewage into Patroon Creek, a long-polluted tributary of the Hudson River on the rebound. Routine sampling by the Mayor's Task Force on Water Resources found that several office and retail buildings near Everett Road had not connected to Albany's sewer system, which routes waste to the county's sewage treatment plant.


``This is a very good piece of detective work, which will result in the elimination of major discharges into Patroon Creek,'' Jennings said.


The businesses may have been overlooked when the city's sewer system was set up in the 1970s, according to General Services Commissioner Willard Bruce. Before those treatment facilities were built, it was standard practice to dump sewage and other waste into the stream and the Hudson.


Patroon Creek, which originates at Rensselaer Lake on Fuller Road, winds through Tivoli Preserve before entering the Hudson River. Activists from Arbor Hill are working to upgrade the stream, which local residents use for fishing and swimming.


Seven years ago, Patroon Creek was named one of the most polluted streams in the nation, but recent biological surveys have found that some of the creek's critters are on their way back.


On Jan. 3, over environmentalists' objections, treated groundwater from the National Lead Industries site cleanup in Colonie was discharged into a stream leading to the creek. The Army Corps of Engineers is currently removing tons of lead-tainted and radioactive soil from the site, where NL made armor-piercing bullets and aircraft parts for the federal government until the plant was closed in 1983.