- The Friends of Lackawanna, a resident-led group opposed to the Keystone Sanitary Landfill expansion plan in Pennsylvania, lost the first part of its fight in front of a local zoning board last fall. Now, the Lackawanna County Court will take on their appeal. First arguments are scheduled for June 10.
- Keystone is seeking to expand from 335 to 435 acres. The landfill originally proposed a 48-year expansion, topping out at 475 feet high — technically higher than permitted. It has since changed the proposal to 44.6 years and an expanded height under the allowable limits.
- Attorneys for the landfill have said that the case brought by residents is weak, in part because they don't have any expert witnesses. The landfill has filed a motion to dismiss the Friends of Lackawanna's appeal.
Keystone is one of the largest landfills in Pennsylvania and has been estimated to received more than 7,000 tons of waste per day — including a large portion from out-of-state. The landfill company says its expansion could add $865 million to the local economy. Residents have raised many questions about environmental effects.
While scares of a potential leachate leak at the landfill were later found to be unsubstantiated, state officials are looking into the site's emissions. The Department of Environmental Protection began a three-month air sampling study in March to gather data on what chemicals residents may be exposed to from the landfill. A report will be made publicly available and residents will have 30 days to submit comments.
As a number of landfills pursue expansion plans across the country, tension with local residents has become common. Recent examples include residents in Massachusetts voicing concerns about water contamination at a landfill where Casella is seeking expansion approval. Strong opposition from residents over a plan to bring more waste to the Seneca Meadows, NY landfill — which would have required expansion — was even an alleged factor in Progressive Waste Solutions backing out of a major export deal with New York City this month.