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Landfills in the
news and related solid waste policy news
Stories below on Steuben County's New Bath
Landfill, Modern Landfill and Waste Management's Chaffee Landfill,
both in Erie County, and IWS in Farmersville
highlight how landfills navigate (and often
rules for control of landfill gas, which may be the biggest threat
to their bottom line–and to market incentives to recyling and other
alternatives to disposal.
WASTE SYSTEMS GETS THE GREEN LIGHT FOR A NEW LANDFILL IN FARMERSVILLE
On September 15, 2003, the DEC notified Integrated Waste Systems that
the company’s application for permission to build a new ten-million-ton
landfill in Farmersville is complete. Accordingly, the DEC said a public
notice will be published in about one month, to schedule an initial
public meeting. This begins the public’s review of the landfill proposal.
To anticipate next month’s notice, we’ve revised our guidance
for citizens on how to participate in a DEC permit review process, as
well as our answers to frequently asked questions about the
Farmersville proposal. If permitted, IWS will have the first
multi-million-ton landfill to be sited on a 30 percent slope with zero
separation between the surrounding surface ground level and the
seasonal high point of the ground water table, as there are active
springs all around the proposed landfill site.
The IWS proposal is also subject to New Source Review, but the company
seeks to postpone Title V review until operations are underway.
RULES WASTE MANAGEMENT'S CHAFFEE LANDFILL MUST BE REOPENED
Right after our
July issue of CCCC Updates
was transmitted, the EPA issued an order to the DEC to reopen and revise
the Title V air permit for Waste
Management’s Chaffee Landfill in Erie Co. The 90-day period given by
the EPA to draft a new permit for public comment expires on September
30, so we should see a notice in the ENB in about a
The EPA faulted the permit in three particulars. First, Section 112 of
the Clean Air Act imposes Maximum Achievable Control Technology on
designated sources, and a final MACT rule was promulgated for landfills
last January. 68 FR 2227. However, even before the rule was finalized,
landfills undergoing Title V review were required to incorporate the
proposed version of the rule into their Title V applications. See 65 FR
66672. Here, neither the landfill nor the DEC identified this
requirement, and the EPA says it applies. Title V permittees with three
years or more left in the five year term of their permit are subject to
reopening for cause if missing applicable requirements are found.
Second, the landfill’s Title V permit contains no calculation of
volatile organic compounds (VOC). Here, the EPA provided much needed
guidance on translating a calculation for emission of non-methane
organic compounds (NMOC) in landfill gas, routinely done by landfills,
into an emission rate for VOC. The EPA directed the DEC to calculate VOC
emissions as 85% of calculated NMOC, and refused to allow uncollected
landfill gas to be discounted as exempt “fugitive emissions.” According
to the EPA, a correct calculation makes the Chaffee Landfill a major
source for VOC.
Third, the EPA ordered emissions of carbon monoxide (CO) to be
calculated on the basis of the maximum gas flow rate to its flare,
which produces CO. The maximum gas flow rate is determined by
regulation, and in this case makes the landfill major for CO.
These mistakes in the permit will have a direct bearing on a parallel
citizen suit being brought against the landfill by three next-door
neighbors. They allege, among other things, that the landfill should
have calculated these emission rates back in 2000, when commencing
construction on a major modification of the landfill. Had it done so,
New Source Review and PSD procedures would have resulted in effective
controls being installed earlier (Waste Management began to do so only
this year), and the neighbors would have stopped getting sick earlier.
Emission reduction credits would also have been purchased, at a likely
cost of millions.
ON WASTE MANAGEMENT'S ALBION LANDFILL PERMIT RESCHEDULED
The previously scheduled hearing on a challenge by Stop Polluting
Orleans Co. and the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition to the DEC’s
decision to permit Waste Management of New York to build a landfill in
Albion has been rescheduled to October 24, in Albany.
For a description of the dispute, please refer to our
July 5 CCCC Updates.
IN THE NEWS
As we feared in July, McKean
County has decided to contract with Casella Waste Systems to lease
the county’s debt-ridden
landfill. With this acquisition, Casella achieves a near monopoly over
the interstate region’s
Casella owns the largest waste transfer station in the region, just
over the state line in Olean, NY (Cattaraugus Co.). The transfer
station is halfway between the McKean County landfill and the Hyland
Landfill in Allegany County, NY, owned and operated by Casella. And
most of the municipal garbage hauling contracts in the three counties
(and neighboring counties) are with Casella subsidiaries. It's already
got a lock on McKean County waste, since all waste generated in the
county is required by local law to go to the county landfill. Casella
will be charging double the regional market rate, which is about $30
If that wasn’t bad
enough, we have reason to believe Casella stands behind IWS in
Farmersville, as the company purchased IWS's only operational landfill
outside Buffalo, and IWS's former chief engineer now oversees all of
Casella’s New York
operations. Casella is thus poised to tighten the web, raising prices
to its hauling customers as it has done in New England.
The effect is already apparent in Cattaraugus County, which owns and
operates eight transfer stations. The proportion of publicly managed
waste is steadily declining as Casella haulers capture more and more of
the county’s waste
stream, diverting it to its Olean transfer station and the Hyland
OTHER SOLID WASTE NEWS
Ogden Martin’s Babylon
Resource Recovery Facility waste incinerator (Suffolk Co.) will get
126 tons of Emission Reduction Credits (worth about $75,000 per ton) for
“over-controlling nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions” from two incinerator
units. Comments must be submitted no later than Oct. 17,2003, to
Roger Evans, DEC Region 1 Headquarters, SUNY at Stony Brook, Building
40, Stony Brook, NY 11790, (631)444-0365, email@example.com.
Steuben County has applied for a Title V
air permit for emissions from two closed landfills and one active
landfill, the New Bath Landfill. Emissions include CO, NOx, methane, VOC
and other hazardous air pollutants. The county also seeks permission to
expand the height of the active landfill by 30 feet and add a 31 acre
addition. Because the site cannot meet the requirement that five feet
must separate the bottom of the landfill liner and seasonal high point
of the underlying water table, the county seeks a waiver from that
requirement. The county also seeks a permit
to mine soils for landfill cover at its New Bath Landfill. Comments must be submitted no later than Sept. 26, 2003, to
Lisa M Porter, NYSDEC Region 8 Headquarters, 6274 East AVON-LIMA Rd.,
Avon, NY 14414, (585) 226-2466.
Modern Landfill in Lewiston (Niagara
Co.) is seeking a Title V air permit for emissions from its landfill,
recently expanded from 615,000 tons per year to 815,000 tons per year.
The proposed permit will allow Modern to avoid New Source Review and
PSD review of the expansion by capping emissions of NOx and VOC below
100 tons per year and 50 tons per year, respectively, and by capping
emissions of CO from two flares below 250 tons per year. Comments must
be submitted no later than Sept. 26, 2003, to David S Denk, NYSDEC
Region 9 Headquarters, 270 Michigan Ave., Buffalo, NY 14203,
Waste Systems of North America, a subsidiary of industry giant
Allied Waste (second in size to Waste Management, Inc.), seeks
permission to build a new landfill along the New York State Thruway and
Niagara Falls Boulevard in the City of Niagara Falls (Niagara Co.). The
new landfill would be located on 84 acres of a 370 acre site already
home to closed or operational solid waste landfill facilities, chemical
waste landfill facilities, and a water treatment facility. A scoping
session was held on September 9, 2003, but an application is not yet
Corporation is seeking permission to expand its waste transfer
station in Peekskill (Westchester Co.) from 700 tons per day to 2,750
tons per day. Comments must be submitted no later than Oct. 17, 2003, to
Michael D. Merriman, NYSDEC Region 3 Headquarters, 21 South Putt
Corners Rd., New Paltz, NY 12561, (845)256-3054, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Evergreen Recycling seeks a permit for a new 156,000 ton per year
waste transfer station in the Town of Clay (Oswego Co.).
Durez Corporation is seeking renewal of its permit for a liquid
hazardous waste incinerator, located in Niagara Falls (Niagara Co.).
Services of Cortland (Cortland Co.) is seeking a permit to build a
new 5,000 ton-per-year waste transfer station. Comments must be
submitted no later than Oct. 14, 2003, to Michael K Barylski, NYSDEC
Region 7 Cortland SUB-OFFICE, 1285 Fisher Ave., Cortland, NY 13045,
--Gary Abraham, CCCC