WEST DECATUR – The Department of Environmental Protection is once again reviewing the proposed municipal waste landfill application for Camp Hope Run in Boggs Township, Clearfield County.
Daniel Spadoni, community relations coordinator for DEP, said that DEP is currently following the November decision of the Environmental Hearing Board and has withdrawn the denied permit application for PA Waste LLC.
“We (have) resumed our review of the PA Waste LLC landfill application – specifically, the environmental assessment (harms versus benefits) last month,” Spadoni said.
He added, “If we determine the actual benefits are greater than the known or potential harms, we will approve the environmental assessment and proceed to a technical review of the landfill application. If we determine the known or potential harms are greater than the actual benefits, then the application will be rejected. This review will take a number of months.”
According to a 17-page synopsis of findings, the board determined that DEP should not have subjected the proposed landfill application to a “suitability analysis,” which was conducted separately from the comprehensive environmental assessment.
“The controlling issue in this appeal is whether the Department of Environmental Protection correctly applied certain statutory and regulatory provisions in its review and subsequent denial of PA Waste LLC’s application,” wrote Judge Bernard A. Labuskes Jr.
The board concluded that the proposed landfill will neither interfere with the approved solid waste management plan nor with municipal waste collection, storage, transportation, processing or disposal in the county.
In addition, the board found that the proposed location of the facility is at least as suitable as alternative locations giving consideration to environmental and economic factors. But the board also acknowledged that the proposed landfill is not accounted for in Clearfield County’s solid waste management plan.
At the same time, the board indicated that there has been “no showing or contention” that PA Waste LLC’s facility will interfere with the implementation of the plan, or with the municipal waste collection, storage, transportation, processing, or disposal in the county.
The board determined that if the permit denial had not occurred as a result of DEP’s separate suitability analysis, the permit application review process would have moved on to an environmental assessment, including a harms/benefits analysis.
Further, the board indicated that the sort of environmental and economic factors that DEP considered in the separate suitability analysis would normally have been part of the harms/benefits analysis if the facility had been included in the county’s solid waste management plan.
“Because (DEP) improperly performed the suitability analysis in this case apart from the more comprehensive environmental assessment, and because that was the only basis for its denial of PA Waste LLC’s permit application, we sustain PA Waste LLC’s appeal and remand the matter to the Department for further review of PA Waste LLC’s application,” wrote Labuskes.
According to prior GantDaily reports, PA Waste LLC submitted a permit application to DEP for the Camp Hope Run municipal waste landfill on Sept. 25, 2006. The company wanted to develop an 845-acre municipal waste landfill with 221 acres lined to accept an average of 5,000 tons per day for 25 years.
DEP denied the permit application on July 11, 2008, while it did not meet the guidelines set forth in Act 101, requiring applicants to demonstrate the proposed landfill site is at least as suitable as alternative locations based on environmental and economic factors.
Because of that condition, DEP requires an applicant to identify the sources and quantity of waste expected to be disposed at a facility and the current disposal locations for the waste. The applicant must then show that its proposed landfill site is at least as suitable as the current disposal locations for the waste.
In addition, the applicant must examine alternative disposal facilities located between the source of the waste and the proposed landfill. However, DEP determined that PA Waste LLC did not prove how redirecting the expected waste to its proposed landfill would not contribute to an increase in environmental pollution.
PA Waste LLC, a Pennsylvania limited liability company, countered by appealing DEP’s decision. PA Waste LLC has its principal place of business at 175 Bustleton Pike, Feasterville, Bucks County, PA 19053.