In Clearfield County ... Landfill papers have technical deficiencies|
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
By Jeff Corcino Staff Writer
The state Department of Environmental Protection has ruled that PA Waste LLC's landfill application has 71 technical deficiencies, Commissioner Joan Robinson McMillen, said at yesterday's commissioners meeting.
PA Waste LLC is proposing to construct a municipal waste landfill on 2,000 acres off of state Route 153 in Boggs Township. The landfill is expected to operate for 25 years and have a capacity of accepting 5,000 tons of waste per day.
All three commissioners are opposed to the landfill saying it would cause excessive truck traffic in the area as well as potential environmental damage in the area.
Last September, the landfill application passed the DEP's harms and benefits phase of the application process and is currently undergoing the technical review phase by the DEP.
According to the technical deficiencies letter sent by DEP, there are 71 significant deficiencies that have to be addressed and PA Waste LLC has 90 business days to submit a response.
The letter was delivered on Feb. 25, so this gives PA Waste LLC until July 30 to respond, said Dan Spadoni, DEP community relations coordinator for the North Central Region when asked by The Progress.
Once the DEP receives PA Waste LLC's response, Spadoni said DEP would review the response and if the DEP determines there are still deficiencies in the application, the department would send the company a pre-denial letter, which PA Waste would be given a chance to respond.
The technical deficiencies cited by DEP include:
PA Waste has provided insufficient information on the potential impact of deep mines in the area. According to the DEP, PA Waste reports that deep mining was not found in the permitted area, but an old clay mine was identified south of the proposed landfill.
The DEP said the extent of this clay mine has not been definitively addressed by PA Waste and wants more information on its extent or a plan on how PA Waste would further evaluate its extent.
The DEP also said that PA Waste didn't conduct enough borings to conclusively determine that the clay mine does not extend beneath the proposed landfill.
PA Waste also did not submit a Traffic Impact Study finalized by the state Department of Transportation and provide information showing the driveway to the facility has adequate sight lines.
The DEP is requesting additional information from PA Waste on wetland mitigation, easements with utility owners, and the depth of the water table. According to the DEP, PA Waste did not provide a reference to the potential contact with groundwater at the base of the proposed landfill subgrade and is asking for a map showing the separation distance between the landfill subgrade and the perched water in the shallowest zone.
The DEP wants PA Waste to further describe its plans to capture and treat the acid mine drainage at the site and not allow it to enter the storm water collection system and be discharged into commonwealth waters. The DEP also states that PA Waste plans to use mine spoil as cover material, which would result in more leachate being generated.
The DEP said PA Waste did not submit enough information on soil types in the subbase layer of the liner system and whether this material is adequate for the liner system.
The DEP also asks for other information such as location of right of ways, ground water maps, better placement of groundwater monitoring stations.
The DEP also stated that there are two abandoned mine discharges on the site that are being treated with funds from the Al Hamilton Treatment Trust and upon issuance of the permit, PA Waste would be required to assume treatment for these discharges.
"The existing systems are malfunctioning and need to be replaced or rebuilt. Please submit a plan for how these discharges will be treated to include detailed designs, estimated construction costs, replacement intervals of each component, annual operating costs and bond or trust to fund amounts needed to assure long-term operation," DEP letter states.
When asked for clarification on whether the treatment systems are failing and the timeline to have them corrected, Spadoni said, "The two treatment units are operating and currently meeting water quality standards. One unit is functioning as designed and the other unit is being managed in an interim manner to obtain treatment."
The DEP also sent a short letter informing PA Waste that its application for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit is technical deficient saying the application is incomplete and it has 15 days to address this deficiency.
In other business:
• Commissioner Mark McCrackin reported the county's retirement fund is up to more than $25 million in total asset value. In a press release he said the county commissioners along with county Controller Tony Scotto, and Treasurer Carol Fox have updated the retirement fund investments to maximize returns while reducing investment fees.
As a result the county retirement fund has grown from $13-$16 million in 2005 to more than $25 million today and the fund is rates as "very well funded" by actuarial standards.
The commissioners voted to:
• approve applying for a time extension for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program contract with the state Department of Community and Economic Development. Lisa Kovalick, county community development specialist said the state offered the county the time extension so it can use the approximately $60,000 it has left over in grant funds to demolish a dilapidated building on Jared Street in DuBois that would facilitate the expansion of KMA Remarketing.
• appoint Todd Grady of the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging and Vicky Lupold, owner of the Quehanna Motor Lodge to the Clearfield County Recreation and Tourism Authority.
• approve the resignation of Bonnie Hudson, part-time administrative assistant, and the FMLA leave request for Cathy Provost, court reporter, for Feb. 20-March 7.