Farmersville Landfill Proposal Remains Stalled
Integrated Waste Systems of Buffalo proposes to built a 20 million ton landfill on Route 98 in Farmersville. However, the DEC review of the IWS landfill proposal is stalled at the issues conference stage until IWS completes two more applications, for permission to disturb wetlands and to discharge millions of gallons of waste water into Carpenter Brook.
In late October, 2004, IWS wrote to Judge Casutto, saying only one of the two permits has been submitted to the DEC and IWS is awaiting comments on that application before submitting the second permit application; and saying that IWS will write monthly with further status updates. No monthly updates have been submitted.
Chautauqua County then brought a motion to reopen the DEC's 1996 decision that the Farmersville was "conceptually" appropriate, in light of new questions about groundwater and wetlands impacts that came out of the first sessions of the issues conference. In October, 2005, that motion was denied, but the judge ordered that such impacts be addressed in the issues conference. That won't happen until IWS takes the step and completes its application.
Progress to Date
A public comment period ended in January, 2004. An issues conference in the summer of 2004 brought out deficiencies in the IWS proposal involving potential impacts to wetlands and a downstream trout fishery. DEC has since required IWS to apply for permits to disturb wetlands and to discharge water into Carpenter Brook, a tributary of Ischua Creek.
Held in April, 2004, over two days at the Machias Fire Hall, the issues conference considered petitions from opponents of the proposal to hold a hearing on certain issues. Represented at the issues conference were a coalition called the Municipal Intervenors–Cattaraugus County, the city of Olean, the Town of Ischua and the Village of Franklinville–a group of individual landowners, Chautauqua County, Ischua Valley Estates, and Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County.
On August 27, 2004, Judge Casutto notified the petitioners that IWS applications for the new wetlands and water discharge permits require another public review. New petitions will be accepted, and the previous petitioners may submit supplemental petitions on any issues raised by the new IWS applications.
A public notice providing instructions on how to petition or simply comment will be published. The issues conference will be rescheduled to continue some time after the public comment period closes.
IWS has not advanced its application since the issues conference. Should it take any action to do so at this point, it will a year or more before the issues conference reconvenes. Hearings can be scheduled to hear evidence against the landfill proposal only after the issues conference closes. Should there continue to be no movement in IWS's application for much longer, it will be more and more questionable whether they have in fact abandoned the project.