Victory: State Denies Moretown Landfill Re-certification

Toxics Action Center and Community Leaders Respond to Breaking News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: STATE DENIES LANDFILL PERMIT

Contact:  Martha Douglass (802) 272-2934 or blackriver3@comcast.net

Kalyn Rosenberg (404)583-1066 or kalyn@toxicsaction.org

Naomi Graber (802)223-4099 or Naomi@toxicsaction.org

Press Statement in Response to the State’s denial of Moretown Landfill’s recertification

In a letter dated December 20, 2012, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) notified the Moretown Landfill of their intent to deny their application for re-certification of Cells 2 &3.  This reflected the state’s determination that the landfill’s design and operations do not prevent nuisance odor conditions.

ANR opened a Public Comment period, expiring February 5, 2013 allowing comments on whether the landfill’s design and operations are sufficient to prevent nuisance odor conditions.  ANR used the remaining time until March 8, 2013 to consider these comments and issue its final decision.

Today, ANR announced its final decision to deny the landfill’s re-certification.

“We applaud the ANR on their decision and urge them to take this opportunity to move Vermont forward with alternative waste solutions,” stated Christine Belanger of C.L.E.A.R. “Our reactive society has a huge waste problem. We need to proactively minimize our waste.   The state needs to embrace its own legislation and make Universal Recycling (H.485/Act 148) and waste reduction a reality.”

Members of C.L.E.A.R. (Citizens for Landfill Environmental Accountability and Responsibility) strongly support the ANR’s decision to deny re-certification.  The landfill’s neighbors believe that Moretown Landfill must be held accountable for thirteen years of landfill environmental violations.  Today’s re-certification denial by ANR ensures that the fugitive odor problems that have plagued our neighborhood for years, will finally be corrected.

Washington County Senator Anthony Pollina said he is pleased with ANR’s decision but gave much of the credit to local citizens. "This is a victory for the environment and for local citizens who were willing to speak up to protect their homes and community," he said, referring to C.L.E.A.R.

Citizens of the South Hadley, Massachusetts group HOPE, (Helping Our Planet Earth) are also pleased with the decision of ANR. The South Hadley facility is also operated by Advanced Disposal., where residents have also suffered consistently with odors, noise and insufficient coverage.  “We are pleased with the recent letter to the Town of South Hadley from Advanced Disposal providing written notice of their intent to discontinue operations at the South Hadley facility.  We are very proud of our Board of Health for all of the efforts and look forward to working with the town in moving towards zero waste," stated Christine Archambault, “This decision in the state of Vermont sends the message that there are other options rather than expanding a landfill.”

Members of C.L.E.A.R. urge Vermonters to remember that Moretown Landfill’s problems are not limited to fugitive odors, from existing Cells 2 and 3. Residents believe if the landfill is issued a permit for a new cell (#4), currently pending ANR review, we are opening the door to continuing damage to adjacent homes from blasting, dumping of hazardous and banned wastes, contaminated groundwater and excess leachate levels for the next 18 years.

The best outcome for Vermont and its environment would be for the Moretown Landfill to activate its closure plan now and begin capping the existing trash cells.

“Landfills are a band aid solution to a long standing waste problem.  There are over 400 closed landfills in the state,” stated Kalyn Rosenberg, Community Organizer with Toxics Action Center, “It’s time we move away from these polluting landfills and reform our solid waste system."