Town of Chemung
Imagine 50% more garbage being dumped each year at the Chemung County Landfill. That is what Casella Waste Management is hoping to do beginning next year.
Chemung County leaders tell me they expect the New York State Department of Environment Conservation to give Casella the OK to dump more trash in the landfill by the middle of next year.
Chemung County handed over control of the landfill to Casella in September of 2005. From day one Casella has said that they hoped to dump more trash at this site from other areas. New York's DEC regulates exactly how much trash can be dumped there on an annual basis.
Currently the landfill can accept up to 120,000 tons of garbage each year. However the permit for that landfill, which is still owned by the county, allows Casella to expand that to 180,000 tons.
"The additional 60,000 tons is an allowable extension under the existing permit, Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli said. Anything beyond that, anything beyond that, would take another full blown S.E.Q.R., it would take public hearings and legislative approval." A S.E.Q.R. is an environmental quality review process that involves public hearings and input before any expansion or increase in tonnage is approved by authorities.
In the coming months some public hearings will be scheduled by the state and Casella to explain this expansion and give neighbors a chance to voice their concerns. One thing neighbors should know is that the landfill itself doesn't plan to expand outward. The only thing being proposed is how much trash can be dumped at the current site.
Casella held a public meeting and announced the presence of a chemical in the testing well at the landfill that was in exceedance of DEC standards...