- The Finger Lakes Zero Waste Coalition has argued for years that the Ontario County Landfill in Stanley, NY, and the Seneca Energy II waste-to-energy plant on-site are under common control, and the total emissions from both should be considered for a single permit. Yet, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation issued separate air permits to the landfill in 2012.
- Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency asked the NY DEC to give more information explaining its decision to consider the landfill and WTE plant as not being under common control, and thus having separate air quality permits. They have 90 days respond to EPA’s request for more information.
- Once the DEC responds to the request, the EPA will have 45 days to review the report and decide if they will keep the separate air permits or grant the landfill with one permit for entire 389-acre site.
“When the DEC issued the separate air permits in 2012 for the landfill and the power plant, Zero Waste asked the EPA to comment,’’ said Kristen Thorsness, Ontario County’s assistant county attorney. “When they didn’t, the coalition filed a petition to ask the EPA to comment and address their concerns that the two are under common control and should be considered as such.”
Finger Lakes Zero Waste Coalition still has an uphill battle in fighting the Ontario County Landfill expansion that local and state government officials appear to want. Still, by getting the EPA to question the NY DEC, Zero Waste activists just scored one for their side. Now, a more detailed consideration by the EPA could mean changes in how landfills are governed all across the state of New York.