The Adirondack Park: New York State’s New Dump?

Photo Courtesy: Adirondack Explorer

Photo Courtesy: Adirondack Explorer


Straight from the pages of humor website The Onion, how does this sound?. Let’s turn a little used railway siding into a dumping ground for former oil tanker railcars, bang, smack in the middle of our pristine part of the world known as the Adirondack Park.

But that’s exactly what’s happening -- not too far from greater Schroon -- next to the Boreas Pond preserve, in Minerva. Hundreds of cars are being stored there, and no one quite knows for how long. There’s video here of cars being moved to the storage site.

Some background: The rail line where the tankers are stored was once owned by NL Industries, the owner of the Tawhawus mine. Who owns the actual land? That’s complicated. Several years ago, NL sold the tracks to Iowa Pacific, who also run the tourist train service between Saratoga and North Creek. The line ends at the Tawhawus mine.

Writer Phil Brown has undertaken extensive reporting on the issue and the editorial staff of the Adirondack Almanac, under the leadership of John Warren, have complied all you need as a primer on this issue. We encourage you to read everything you can and become proactive.

Meantime, the one and only Dan Berggren has composed a song that says it all: “Junkyard Express” Words ©2017 Dan Berggren. The music is public domain by Daniel E. Kelley (1808–1905). Click here to hear it.