Friends, we are proud to stand together with you. This article outlining the events of the night proves that raising our voices is making a difference. We will not stop!
Times-Tribune, Scranton, PA
Kyle Wind, Staff Writer
February 26, 2015
Throughout the meeting, audience members questioned DEP and landfill officials about aspects of the expansion — like the potential impact on property values, air and groundwater quality, the skyline and the odor. No audience member spoke in support of the plan Wednesday night.
At some points, exchanges became tense and emotional, like when Mr. Bellas told the audience dotted with green Friends of Lackawanna shirts that the agency has not confirmed any “malodors” outside of the Keystone facility.
The crowd erupted and jeered after his statement. Numerous area residents have told The Times-Tribune the landfill’s odor can be strong in different points across the area, most notably on the Casey Highway but as far away as Jefferson Twp. at times.
Michele Dempsey, one of the Friends of Lackawanna leaders, at one point asked if the landfill has ever had any emergencies like underground fires, landslides or mine subsidences.
Mr. Magnotta, flanked by Keystone co-owner Louis DeNaples, initially responded the operation had not. Mr. Bellas corrected him, saying the agency had investigated two “subsurface oxidation incidents,” a chemical reaction that gives off heat, at the facility — which drew another vocal reaction from the crowd.
Mr. DeNaples was silent throughout nearly the entire meeting. At one point, Mr. Magnotta answered a question directed at him, but Mr. DeNaples did respond when Ms. Oven addressed him.
“This landfill expansion will negatively impact my family, my young children. They breathe the air and drink the water,” she said. “So my question to you is, with all of your resources and your wealth and your power, is there a better way to dispose of garbage in an environmentally friendly way that would not negatively impact our future and our children’s future?”
“It’s the business we’re in,” Mr. DeNaples responded. “It’s the business (my family) started.”