As part of the DEP process, Keystone Sanitary Landfill must prove that the benefits to this expansion clearly outweigh the harms, both known and potential. We believe that the Harms clearly outweigh any Benefit that could conceivably be recognized from this expansion.
Friends of Lackawanna has challenged Keystone Sanitary Landfill's current operating permit. It is our believe that if we believe the harms outweigh the benefits for expansion, then the harms must clearly outweigh the benefits of KSL's current operating permit as well. To read more on our position, check out our Notice of Appeal of KSL's current operating permit.
The DEP has issued KSL its first Environmental Assessment Review Letter. The letter outlines which of KSL's stated benefits the DEP will consider when reviewing the landfill's permit application. Among things that will not be considered:
Charitable donations, like volunteering to pay an estimated $250,000 to obtain 2,000 feet of rights-of-way and for utility relocations for Eddy Creek’s flood control project — a project DEP is spearheading.
Other donations that similarly won’t be part of the decision include $100,000 of annual contributions to Dunmore Senior Center, $60,000 per year to Throop’s environmental fund and a proposed $10,000 per year to several colleges for scholarships.
A plan to relocate 8.8 million tons of waste from the landfill’s unlined portions to the active disposal area. The regulator determined it is not relevant to the expansion because Keystone proposed it in a separate application and will place the garbage in the active disposal area, not the expansion site.
Keystone’s plans to expand its recycling of captured methane gas and convert it into a clean source of electricity.“Beneficial reuse of landfill gas is mitigation of gas that is created by the landfill and an expected business practice, and is not considered to be a benefit of the Phase 3 expansion,” wrote Jeffrey Spaide, environmental engineer manager for the region’s DEP waste management division.
Plans to start an annual $10,000 contribution to a trust fund dedicated to rehabilitating Dunham Drive and Tigue Street. Mr. Spaide similarly described it as “likely a mitigation of damage to the roads caused by trucks accessing the landfill.”
Processing drill cuttings and fluids from hydraulic fracturing operations, which the agency saw as unrelated to the expansion plan.
To read more from the DEP's Assessment letter, click on the link below.
As discussed at the recent DEP meeting, we have obtained some air quality reports that we are compelled to share with the public.
Background: since no off-site air testing was being conducted as part of the evaluation of the Landfill expansion, or the ongoing operation of the Landfill, Friends of Lackawanna requested that air testing begin. In addition to KSL, one of the testing sites was nearby Sherwood Park. We received the data from DEP and had two independent professionals** examine it. You can read both of their reports as linked to below.
Steven Lester summarized it as follows: "While there were many methodological problems with this analysis, what was clear from the sampling is that many toxic chemicals were found in the air samples taken on the landfill property. There were also a good number of toxic chemicals found in the air samples taken off-site including the April sample at Sherwood Park..."
** The two professionals that reviewed the information for us are Steven Lester and Kevin Stewart. Steven is the Science Director for the Center for Health, Environment & Justice. He has degrees from American University (B.S. in Biology), New York University (M.S. Environmental Health) and from Harvard University (M.S. in Toxicology). Kevin is the Director of Environmental Health for the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic region. He received his Chemical Engineering degree from Princeton University.
For KSL, the year 2016 brought with it two Notice of Violations from the Department of Environmental Protection. The first was issued in April 2016. KSL's west's leachate lagoon was found to be leaking. And then in October of 2016, it was determined that KSL's leachate had been leaking (over 7000 gallons) from a drywell at the facility. Below are the Notices from the DEP.