Thursday, May 06, 2010

DEP shelves Tri-County Industries' Trash Mountain

It seems that the blind squirrels at the DEP can find a nut now and then...

Here's some great news from the DEP Newsroom:
Local Zoning Issue Leads DEP to Suspend Review of Mercer County Landfill Permit Applications

MEADVILLE -- The Department of Environmental Protection has suspended its review of Tri-County Landfill’s air plan and industrial wastewater discharge permit applications until disagreements over a local zoning issue in Pine Township, Mercer County, are resolved.

The issue specifically relates to the company’s planned municipal waste landfill in Pine and Liberty townships.

Pine Township first called on Tri-County Landfill LLC to apply for a local zoning variance in 2004, but did not have the required comprehensive plan in place that would allow DEP to consider the land use issue. In 2005, Pine Township and Mercer County enacted comprehensive land use plans that the township is now using as the basis for its position.

When Tri-County notified Pine Township in 2009 that it had submitted the air plan and industrial wastewater discharge permit applications, the township again brought to the attention of DEP the unresolved zoning conflict.

“It’s DEP’s policy to always attempt to honor local government’s control over land use, so we are suspending our reviews of these permit applications,” DEP Regional Director Kelly Burch said. “We will not resume our review of these applications until the conflict is resolved.”

Both outstanding permit applications pertain to by-products produced when landfill waste decomposes; the air plan relates to a system for managing methane gas and the discharge permit would apply to the waste liquid, or leachate.

DEP received a solid waste permit application pertaining to the new proposed landfill on Aug. 23, 2004. It initially denied the application after completing the environmental assessment, or benefits/harms analysis, because of bird strike issues.

Tri-County appealed that denial and subsequently provided supplemental information that led DEP to reverse its decision in 2008, approve the environmental assessment and move on to the technical review, or second phase of the permit review process.

DEP has finished its review of the solid waste permit application for the landfill, but has not yet made a decision. That decision will not be made until the department completes its review of the other permit applications.

This is super news for the Grove City area! But as a reminder: be vigilant! TCI will stop at nothing to build the Trash Mountain. Stay sharp and keep up the good fight!

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