The Moretown landfill's days may be numbered. With capacity at the 20-acre site set to run out early next year, managers face the choice of either closing or expanding. And without the state permits to expand, time is running out.
"I'm not very optimistic that they can control odors at the site," said George Desch of the Vt. Agency of Natural Resources.
In a letter last week, the Department of Environmental Conservation told the landfill's parent company, Advanced Disposal, that it had until Monday to come up with a solution to ongoing odor violations, and that "At this time the Agency has no confidence that the Facility will be able to prevent nuisance off-site odors given the long history of violations and complaints." Regulators cite a 13-year history of problems, capped off in recent months by persistent complaints from neighbors.
"The history has been compiled. They have significant odors still in spite of the changes they've made to the operations, changes they've made to the physical plant itself, the odors have persisted," Desch said.
Landfill managers told WCAX News they have a number of new ideas to solve the smells that would allow them to expand or even reopen a previously closed cell. But state officials say there is a high bar to satisfy either option.
Closure of Moretown would make the landfill in Coventry the only operating landfill in Vermont. State officials say they do not expect capacity to be a problem when looking at the regional market, although they admit prices could rise. Some trash haulers have a decidedly different opinion.
"It creates a major environmental issue, I believe, which is emissions," said Jeff Myers of Myers Container Service. "Plus the price increase when one person can control pricing. So, I don't believe we can allow one person to control trash that ultimately could control pricing in the state. It would be devastating I believe."
Vt. House Natural Resources Chair Tony Klein helped approve a measure this spring aimed at reducing solid waste in landfills like Moretown. While he agrees that the prospect of a Casella monopoly is disturbing, he says environmental health overrides economics.
"We're there trying to help the entity remain in place, but if they're going to be such bad neighbors and environmentally not do what they're not being asked to do, then I don't think ANR has any other choice but to shut them down," said Klein, D-East Montpelier.
Friday, March 7 2014 9:00 AM EST2014-03-07 14:00:02 GMT
The state of Vermont released new evidence in hopes of keeping a Manchester woman behind bars. Fifty-year-old Patricia Kane was arrested on charges of interfering with the custody of a minor in January.More >>
The state of Vermont released new evidence in hopes of keeping a Manchester woman behind bars.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 11:41 PM EST2014-03-07 04:41:04 GMT
The Randolph man who admitted to murdering his niece in 2008 will be sentenced this spring. In August Michael Jacques struck a deal with federal prosecutors. He gave up his right to an appeal and pleadedMore >>
The Randolph man who admitted to murdering his niece in 2008 will be sentenced this spring.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 11:40 PM EST2014-03-07 04:40:13 GMT
It's a real estate deal between UVM and the Queen City that could end up kicking some non-profits to the curb. The Burlington School District voted Thursday night on half of the multi-million dollar deal.More >>
It's a real estate deal between UVM and the Queen City that could end up kicking some non-profits to the curb.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 7:53 PM EST2014-03-07 00:53:09 GMT
'Tis the season-- as winter winds down frost heaves and potholes arrive. The ups and downs of the 2014 winter can be seen and felt. No route or road is spared. And just adding to the frustration-- theMore >>
The deep freeze is making for some rough roads across our region and it's also contributing to a fuel shortage. Shelby Cashman has more.More >>
Thursday, March 6 2014 7:56 PM EST2014-03-07 00:56:36 GMT
The pothole problem knows no boundaries. Our neighbors to the north are also dealing with rough roads. The Quebec Transportation Ministry budgeted $260 million for winter road maintenance. But crews haveMore >>
Our neighbors to the north are also dealing with rough roads.More >>