Letter to the Editor: 8/19/2015

Great insights, Richard Yost!

Landfill interests

Editor: I see several interest groups involved in the controversy over the proposed Keystone Sanitary Landfill expansion.

The first is represented by landfill owner Louis DeNaples. His is an exclusive group described as, “My family’s business.”

A second is Friends of Lackawanna, which is interested in a future of environmental health — a life-enhancing ecology with clean air, soil and water.

The third faction is the news media, led to some extent by the editorials and columns in The Times-Tribune. They have been undergirded by a remarkable open letter from members of the publishing families in The Sunday Times of March 29 to John H. Quigley, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The letter recommends the rejection of “a 50-year, 100 million-ton, 450 foot-height expansion in Northeast Pennsylvania.”

Another group is the politicians. U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and Lackawanna County Commissioner Pat O’Malley have come out strongly against expansion. On the opposite side are State Rep. Marty Flynn D-113, Scranton, and U.S. Rep. Tom Marino R-10, Lycoming County. Flynn exults in a “state-of-the-art” operation; Marino’s silence on the issue has been deafening, but his loyalties always have been suspect.

In the middle are elected officials who, in different ways, say that people “don’t understand the reality” of the situation. The reality they suggest is political reality and I think they are wrong. County Commissioner Jim Wansacz probably got tossed in the primary election for not standing up and that is the new reality. I include in that category state Sen. John Blake D-22, Archbald, and U.S. Rep Matt Cartwright D-17, Moosic, who have tried to massage the issue.

The last and largest faction is the population at large. People near and far look on this landfill and see a growing mountain that takes almost two-thirds of its trash from outside states.