Schumer urges Orleans, Genesee to resolve dispute with STAMP sewer

File photo by Tom Rivers: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer was in Genesee County on Sept. 1, 2021 at the STAMP site in Alabama. He welcomed Plug Power as the first business at the 1,250-acre site. Pictured at right is Plug Power President/CEO Andrew Marsh and Steve Hyde (far right), who is president and CEO of the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 August 2023 at 8:36 am

ALBION – U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer has pushed for years to promote the STAMP site in Alabama, just south of the Orleans County line.

He has made phone calls to top executives in the semiconductor and clean energy industries, urging them to come to STAMP. He has championed legislation to support chip manufacturing and helped secure funding for the park’s infrastructure.

Schumer, the U.S. Senate majority leader, said he is aware of a dispute between Genesee and Orleans counties about the sewer discharge from the 1,250-acre site. Orleans is contesting having up to 6 million gallons of treated wastewater from STAMP be discharged into the Oak Orchard Creek in Shelby.

“I would hope the two counties can come together,” Schumer in Albion on Tuesday when he was promoting an a plan to slow the flow of fentanyl into the U.S. by imposing economic sanctions on Mexico and China. Schumer took questions on other issues from reporters and he was asked about the STAMP sewer dispute between Genesee and Orleans.

A $9.7 million sewer line with pumps is under construction along Route 63. The 9-mile-long project needs two temporary construction easements from Shelby property owners, and Orleans has opposed those easements. The Orleans County Legislature and Orleans Economic Development Agency are concerned the wastewater from STAMP could cause erosion, flooding and hurt the water quality of the Oak Orchard, which is a world renown fishing attraction for trout and salmon.

Orleans officials also don’t want to have the creek levels rise to levels that limit Orleans from promoting its own Medina Business Park.

The attorney for STAMP, Matthew Fitzgerald, said during a July 27 public hearing the 6 million gallon discharge from STAMP would raise the creek water levels by 0.2 inch and would have a negligible impact. He said the project has undergone an extensive environmental review from state and federal agencies.

Schumer declared himself a big supporter of STAMP while he was in Albion. He has personally helped secure Plug Power and Edwards Vacuum as tenants for STAMP.

Plug Power is building a $290 million green hydrogen fuel plant at STAMP as the site’s first tenant. The company expects to have 65-70 workers at STAMP when it opens.

Edwards Vacuum has committed to building a $319 million manufacturing facility at STAMP. That new “factory of the future” will serve the semiconductor industry and advanced manufacturing sectors and create approximately 343 new high-paying jobs.

A full build-out at STAMP will result in 9,000 new jobs for the region, Genesee County economic development officials said.

The sewer project along Route 63 into Orleans is critical for the full development of STAMP, officials at Genesee County Economic Development Corporation said at the July 27 hearing.

“It’s a problem the two counties have to get together and resolve,” Schumer said.