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Schenectady County Legislature Advances Measure to Protect Aquifer

Schenectady County Seal

The Schenectady County Legislature advanced a resolution through committee last night that would designate a 16.8-acre parcel county-owned parcel in Rotterdam as open space for source water protection. To take effect, the resolution must also pass at the regular meeting of the legislature on Tuesday, September 13, 2022.

The Great Flats Aquifer, which is estimated at more than one trillion gallons, is the main water supply for Schenectady County residents. The resolution designates a parcel that the County owns through foreclosure as open space for water protection. This designation will be placed on the deed for the property preventing any use other than protection of the water supply.

“This summer’s hot temperatures and water shortages around the country remind us how fortunate we are in Schenectady County to have a fantastic water supply at the Great Flats Aquifer,” said Anthony Jasenski, Chair of the County Legislature. “This parcel is close to both Rotterdam and the City of Schenectady’s well fields and designating it as open space is key to protecting the aquifer. Not only does this abundant water supply provide drinking water for our residents, it’s also a resource our economic development team has used to attract new businesses and development to our community through smart growth efforts, including BelGioioso Cheese and Adirondack Beverages.”

The County has been aggressive in its efforts to protect the aquifer since 2004, including demolishing the former Bobby Young auto service station and L&M Motel, both located near well fields. A $15 million cleanup at the former Scotia Navy Depot funded by Senator Schumer and Congressman Tonko prevented contaminants from the former military base from reaching the aquifer.