June 23, 2008

DEP Schedules Public Hearing on Landfill Expansion

By Shari Sanger, The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa.

Jun. 23--TAYLOR -- The state Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public hearing next month to accept public comment on the proposed 60-acre expansion application of Environmental Recycling Services Inc.'s landfill.

DEP began reviewing the landfill's expansion application for a second time after the state Environmental Hearing Board said DEP officials erred in denying ERSI's application two years ago.

The board said DEP -- which based its denial on the landfill's failure to address the "critical" issues of mine subsidence and groundwater contamination -- failed to substantiate any of the reasons for its denial.

ERSI officials submitted additional information on those issues in January.

The application requests about 10 acres of new landfill area and an additional 50 acres that would overlay the existing construction and demolition waste landfill and the former Amity Landfill.

At the two-hour hearing on July 15, DEP officials will accept testimony from individuals in support of or against the expansion.

DEP spokesman Mark Carmon said the public's testimony carries weight in the state's decision-making process, in many cases leading to conditions in a permit or the decision on whether or not to issue one.

"It most definitely is taken into account during the review," he said.

Anyone wishing to testify at the hearing is asked to submit a written notice of intent to: Mark Carmon, community relations coordinator, Department of Environmental Protection, 2 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre, 18711-0790.

All correspondence should be marked to the attention of "ERSI Landfill Public Hearing."

DEP will accept notices up to the day of the hearing. Those unable to attend the hearing may submit written comments through July 23.

Contact the writer: [email protected]


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