NYS-DEC has taken the first steps toward granting Hyland Facilities, Inc., a state permit for a municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill. A negative declaration, formally declaring an MSW dump at the Hyland site will have no significant environmental impact, was issued by DEC on July 23. (Envtl. Notice Bull., No. 30).
This will modify the ash landfill proposal the Angelica Town Board approved last year, in order to settle litigation Hyland brought against it. Hyland challenged Angelica's landfill ban law in federal District Court under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, claiming that it discriminated against interstate commerce in waste.
What did Hyland want to settle the case? It wanted the Town to repeal its local landfill ban law.
In return for an end to what looked like unsustainable legal costs, the Angelica Town Board last year complied, and took Hyland at its word that it would not seek a permit modification to expand the kinds of wastes the proposed ash dump receives.
Concerned Citizens of Allegany County warned about the imprudence of not having such an understanding included in the settlement agreement. But the Town Board instead signed an agreement guaranteeing that it would never seek independent party status in any further permit proceedings involving Hyland.
Hyland's promise was no good, providing a clear example of what can happen when a town, unlike the Town of Allen, discussed elsewhere in this issue, abandons its local landfill ban law.
Hyland's modification was granted. Today approximately two million tons of landfill capacity is located within a 90-minute drive of Angelica. Does the Town need to add more space to the dump its hosts?