Scranton Times, Brendan Gibbons, November 26, 2014
Today the Times-Tribune reports that the Dunmore host municipality agreement is the worst in the County. We believe it extends far further than that—maybe even the Country. Dunmore Council did NOT have to rush to pass this agreement.
That conflict might explain why, despite firm public pressure to fight for a better deal, Dunmore council approved the most unfavorable landfill host agreement in Lackawanna County. The only worse agreement was the borough’s old version from 1999.
Council members and attorney Bill Jones have said landfill owner Louis DeNaples significantly limited the terms of the agreement and wouldn’t allow outside experts to negotiate on the borough’s behalf.
Some members of the public addressed this Monday night.
“I just ask you whether you’re in a position, these seven people up here, to sign an agreement with no environmental guidance,” Dunmore resident and Friends of Lackawanna core member Pat Clark said before the vote.
The public didn’t have much time to review the agreement. Dunmore officials posted the newest version about three days before the vote, resident Jack McGrath said at the meeting.
“Somebody’s putting pressure on this council, and they’re not here tonight,” he said.
Short term economic gain traded for long term economic loss. No environmental protection. No protection from liability for catastrophic disaster (landfill fire, landslide, subsidence, leaking). An agreement rushed for absolutely no reason at all despite the pleas of their constituents to take the time to demand a better agreement and despite offers from citizens who practice law to help them craft it pro bono. This was democracy at its worst and the effect of power, money and influence at its best. Dunmore Council, with the brave exception of Tim Burke, has signed their names to a shameful agreement. This travesty is their tragic legacy. They should apologize to all of your children…and their children…and their children…ad infinitum for bootstrapping them with an irresponsible, pathetic agreement that never ends. That is, if any of our children choose to stay in Dunmore or the area, which is doubtful if this expansion happens. What a tax base we would have then!
Friends, we must fight harder now more than ever. Please continue to write the DEP and your legislators to let them know where we stand and that we demand they represent us. Please write letters to the editor and support Friends of Lackawanna. We will not let this deter our efforts to get DEP to deny Phase 3. Let’s let this inspire us to action! Enough! Dunmore Council’s disregard for the People was as disgusting as the landfill itself. Enough! How long will we allow power, money and influence to infect our democracy and corrupt our system? Enough! We must let DEP know that there are no benefits that can outweigh the harms of radioactive fracking waste to our health, safety and welfare or the degradation to the image of our community when it is known for a mountain of trash. Enough! It is time to stand up and be counted or sit it out and be dumped on forever!