|Chemung County Landfill Changes Debated
From: Doug Couchon
Within the next few months the Chemung County Legislature will decide whether to expand its dump: A) physically beyond its current footprint and B) to increase its tonnage acceptance rate from 180,000 tons per year to a maximum of 417,000 tons per year, about a 230% increase in capacity.
The next meeting of the full legislature is Monday, May 12 at 7:00 PM in the John H. Hazlett Building, 203 Lake St, 5th floor, Elmira NY 14902-0588. Please attend and consider speaking.
Casella Waste, the Vermont-based operator, plans to increase the tonnage of PA Marcellus Shale drill cuttings it accepts at the Chemung County dump. More of the waste generated right here at home will be shipped elsewhere to make room for the additional drill cuttings along with garbage from downstate, both of which are more profitable for Casella. But at what cost to the residents of Chemung County? Is our collective health really less important than Casella's profit motive? Will we stand for letting a corporation gain wealth at our expense (clean water/good health)?
Drill cuttings from PA are radioactive well above background radiation at the surface and well above the legal environmental limit. The type of radioactive material being deposited in the dump is water soluble. Leachate, with contributions from drill cuttings, is collected in "ponds" and trucked to Elmira water facilities for "treatment" after which it is dumped directly into the Chemung River, where many of us get our drinking water. There is no treatment facility in the county that can remove radioactivity from water.
I hope you will join the growing number of residents and neighbors (because radioactivity and poisons know no political boundaries) who are speaking out about this issue. The past two county legislature meetings have been packed. Please join us next Monday, May 12 at 7:00 PM, and subsequent meetings on second Mondays: June 9,July 14, August 11, September 18, Ocober 14 (Tuesday),November 10, December 8.
Please also consider making a presentation to the legislature that night. If you choose not to speak, your presence will support those who do. Thank you very much.