Local, State Officials Express Concern With Landfill Project

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation held a legislative hearing Wednesday at Frewsburg Central School regarding permits to a landfill in the town of Carroll. Representatives from the DEC, Daigler Engineering, the town of Carroll and Chautauqua County were present. The hearing allowed members from the public three minutes to speak. P-J photo by Jordan W. Patterson

CARROLL — Differences over the Jones-Carroll Landfill in the town of Carroll were aired during a legislative public hearing held by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

One by one, members from the Carroll community took the podium inside the auditorium at Frewsburg Central School, most of whom in opposition of the proposed landfill, known as the C&D Management Facility, while a handful were in favor.

The Jones-Carroll Landfill has been in dispute for over a decade. The town of Carroll drafted laws in 2005 and 2007 to thwart any operation of a new landfill from opening, and both were challenged in court.

The 2007 waste disposal law has not received a final court decision. Currently, the town is appealing the involvement of Sealand Waste LLC, who were allowed by the courts to intervene in the court proceedings on behalf of the landfill’s owners.

The DEC is currently reviewing an application from Daigler Engineering and Sealand Waste for permits to operate a construction and demolition landfill on Dodge Road. The public comment period for the community to submit their comments ends Monday, and the DEC held the hearing as a way for people to express their concerns to the DEC directly.

County legislator PJ Wendel speaks Wednesday during a legislative hearing regarding a proposed landfill in the town of Carroll. P-J photo by Jordan W. Patterson

Present at Wednesday’s hearing were Charles Cranston, deputy regional permit administration; David Denk, regional permit administration; and Molly McBride, administration law judge. Andy Goodell, state assemblyman; County Executive George Borrello; PJ Wendel, county legislator; Laura Greenwood, Carroll town supervisor; and Shelly O’Boyle, superintendent of Frewsburg Central School, all took the podium in opposition of the landfill.

Wendel said the County Legislature recently explored options to expand the county landfill in the town of Ellery.

“The necessity isn’t there to open this landfill,” he said.

Wendel also noted that Sealand Waste’s proposal doesn’t comply to the state’s solid waste management plan.

Borrello shared a similar sentiment.

“I’m here speaking on behalf of the executive branch. We are absolutely opposed to the DEC permitting this landfill here in this town,” Borrello said. “Let me start by saying, as (Wendel) said, the DEC has directed us in the county through the solid waste management plan that we have to adhere to that. We are supposed to do whatever we can to divert things from going into the ground, period.”

Bethany Acquisto, representative of Daigler Engineering, provided a presentation to those gathered inside the auditorium. The goal of the presentation, according to Jim Daigler of Daigler Engineering, was to dispel misinformation and quell the fear that community members might have a landfill in their community.

Daigler provided information to the public regarding the landfill, legal history and background on Sealand Waste. Daigler Engineering also set up an exhibit outside the auditorium highlighting the project.

“The biggest thing we want people to know, when they say Sealand is a fox in the henhouse, is this: Dan (Bree, founder and president of Sealand Waste) is committed that the town or state can walk on that site anytime, unannounced and if they want to see what’s going on. They can come in and take a look,” Daigler told The Post-Journal. “I think that is an example of the type of thing that we’re trying to clear up for folks because that’s not what’s out there on the street.”

Daigler previously offered a Host Community Benefit Agreement to the town of Carroll as recent as September. In the proposal, Dodge Road would be upgraded; monetary compensation for each ton hauled into the landfill would be provided; and a safety program for Frewsburg Central School students would be implemented.

Acquisto said an estimated $60 million would be invested into the community.

Many in attendance said the negative aspects outweigh the proposed benefits of a new landfill. Many who took the podium expressed concerns, including traffic increases, noise from potential waste trucks, water, air and light pollution and overall environmental concerns.

“I’m tired of it,” one resident said of the decade-long battle opposing the landfill.

Steve Russo was one of the few who openly supported of the landfill. He said he believed Sealand Waste was a good company that would adhere to state and local regulations. He also noted that the town could benefit from the monetary compensation Sealand Waste has proposed.

Goodell, meanwhile, expressed concern that 290,000 gallons of water that runs below the now closed Jones-Carroll Landfill. He compared the landfill’s potential future operation to that of Apollo 13, and noted that even with regulations and care, “things can go wrong.”

“I am encouraging the DEC to pay close attention to the unique environmental issues that are here,” Goodell told The Post-Journal.

Also present Wednesday were members of Carroll Concerned Citizens, who have been outspoken against the project.