The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

March 27, 2013

Public gets last chance to comment on Geneva landfill expansion

HARPERSFIELD TOWNSHIP — The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) has deemed a 69.7 acre expansion of the Waste Management Geneva Landfill “approvable,” but will go to the public one last time on Thursday to hear concerns and objections to the project.

The OEPA will host a public meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at Northwest Ambulance District on South Broadway to discuss the expansion of the landfill on Tuttle Road.

If approved, the permit would allow the facility to expand laterally by 69.7 acres and vertically over 5.8 acres of existing landfill, allowing for an additional 14.6 million cubic yards of capacity.

OEPA spokesman Mike Settles said OEPA officials received and reviewed Waste Management’s permit and held a public information session in June to discuss the possible expansion.

“At this point, we have completed our review and have issued a draft permit,” Settles said. “What (Waste Management) is asking to do meets our environmental regulations and is approvable.”

Settles said that is a big part of the approval process, the permit has not yet been approved.

“Before making final decision, we will go to the public again,” he said. “We want to make sure we haven’t missed anything.”

Settles said the proposed expansion would extend the life of the landfill by 30 to 60 years if the landfill maintains its current amount of incoming waste.

The landfill can receive a maximum of 1,500 tons per day, Settles said, but only takes in about half of that.

“This permit would extend the life of the operating landfill because it would give the landfill a larger area for disposal,” he said. “Even at their maximum intake, this would extend the life of the landfill by 30 years. If they continue to take in waste at the current rate, it could extend the landfill by 60 years.”

Settles said he hopes citizens will come to the public meeting to air their concerns about the possible expansion.

“We are interested in any concerns they might have —  anything they think we might have missed in our permit process,” he said. “We will respond to all the comments over the next week. We will review every comment prior to making a final decision.”

Comments can also be sent via email to brian.dearth@epa.ohio.gov with “Geneva Landfill comments” in th esubject line. The public comment period ends April 5.

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