Owner closing Moretown Landfill while seeking expansion
MORETOWN — The company that operates the Moretown Landfill says it has reached an agreement with the state to shut down the existing operation.
In a news release sent out by Advanced Disposal, the company said it has reached a settlement that has been approved by the Vermont Environmental Court in which the company will close the landfill and stop taking in waste as of today. The company still hopes to open a new section of landfill.
In March, the Agency of Natural Resources denied recertification of the landfill’s Cell Three, citing groundwater and odor issues. The agency ordered the landfill to close by April 15, but the Environmental Court granted a 90-day stay after Advanced Disposal appealed the denial of recertification.
The landfill is still trying to expand into a fourth cell, and the news release said the landfill will be closed until that cell is permitted and constructed. According to the Agency of Natural Resources, the decision on Cell Three has no bearing on the proposed construction of Cell Four, for which the company is seeking permits from the state and town.
Accepting the closure ordered by the state is a change in the company’s stance; it had said in May that it was seeking to remain open past the 90-day stay until the appeal process was complete.
The company said there were four reasons the landfill should be left open. It said the agency’s facts about odor and groundwater pollution did not support the denial of recertification; if the landfill closed, drastic action would have to be taken, irreparably harming the employees and customers of the landfill; giving the landfill more time would not cause any more harm to the agency or other parties involved; and a longer stay would be in the public’s best interest because the landfill “provides an important and somewhat scarce public service” to the residents.
Some of the residents in Moretown have been pushing for the shutdown of the landfill and are staunchly against its expansion, saying there is a constant odor emanating from the site, their wells are being contaminated by runoff from the garbage and the blasting the landfill was doing to open up space for trash was damaging their property.
The landfill had already greatly reduced the amount of trash coming in as Cell Three approached its capacity. If the landfill remains closed, the only landfill in the state that will take municipal waste will be the one in Coventry.
Casella Waste Management Inc., which operates the Coventry landfill, is seeking to double the amount of trash allowed into the company’s transfer station in East Montpelier to accommodate the increased trash load due to the Moretown Landfill closing.MORE IN World/National Business
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