We have until this Friday, January 27th to submit comments to the DEC regarding NY's largest landfill, located in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Seneca Meadows Landfill was slated to close in 2025, and instead, they've applied for an expansion (seven stories higher than it is now!) and an operating extension through 2040.
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We're making this simple for you by providing a sample comment for you to use.
Start to compose a new email. Copy and paste the following email address into the "To:" section:
Copy and paste the following, replacing "Insert Your Name" with your own name, into the Subject Line:
"Re: [Insert YOUR Name]: RE: PROPOSED VALLEY INFILL PROJECT SENECA MEADOWS LANDFILL TOWN OF SENECA FALLS, SENECA COUNTY, NEW YORK"
Copy and Paste the following into the body of the email starting below with January X, 2023*:
* PLEASE NOTE: Wherever something is bolded, that is where you must personalize your comment. You can eliminate the yellow highlight feature of your personalized comments by selecting the text highlighted, clicking the "A" icon at the bottom left of your email, going to "Background Color", and checking the clear white box at the top right.
January X, 2023
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Attention: Kimberly Merchant
Re: [Insert YOUR Name]: RE: PROPOSED VALLEY INFILL PROJECT SENECA MEADOWS LANDFILL TOWN OF SENECA FALLS, SENECA COUNTY, NEW YORK
Dear Ms. Merchant,
I write to you as a resident of (place of residence) regarding the proposed expansion and extension of the Seneca Meadows Landfill via the Valley Infill project. [Tell a little bit about yourself and why you care here: i.e.: I live in the Finger Lakes/ Visit the Finger Lakes/ Own a Business in the Finger Lakes/ Have children who go to school in the area etc.]
Seneca Meadows landfill adversely impacts our air, water, health, and thriving tourism economy and degrades the pastoral nature of the region, damaging the vital environmental resources and thus the community character of the Finger Lakes. The Valley Infill Project would extend the landfill’s life and continue to harm the community for another 15 years. The people of the Finger Lakes have fought against this behemoth corporate polluter for years to no avail. It is time for the DEC to listen to our community and protect our region from further harm.
The application should be outright denied. Instead the DEC should assist Waste Connections in closing the landfill by 2025 as originally planned and as required by local law.
As DEC considers this application it must conduct a rigorous environmental assessment. I urge you to include in your scoping for the DEIS the following:
• A risk versus reward analysis on the economic impacts of this extension, including the potential harm the expansion of the landfill could have on the local and regional economic engines (e.g., wine, agricultural and tourism industries) and the potential negative impact the expansion could have on large regional employers in recruiting and retaining new hires in the shadow of the landfill.
• An analysis of how a continuation and expansion of the landfill impacts the character of the local and regional community, including but not limited to the environmental setting and sensitivity of the Finger Lakes area in an effort to determine whether the significant adverse impacts on our community character are outweighed or balanced by social, economic or other considerations, and whether the expansion could be avoided or minimized to the maximum extent practicable.
• Detailed and specific analysis of how the Infill’s ongoing methane emissions beyond 2025 and how this can possibly be consistent with New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
• Meaningful consideration of what the increase in height of the Infill Project will have on the viewshed in the region.
• Quantification of and spatial analysis of past odor complaints and the number of times DEC’s on-site inspector evaluated odor complaints. Analysis of available technologies and methodologies to quantify odor issues and annoyance. Identification of all possible odor mitigation measures. Analysis of how the continuation of accepting 6,000 tons of garbage daily could add to the odor problems of the landfill and exacerbate complaint fatigue among those impacted if calls made regarding odors are dismissed.
• Testing and analysis of the leachate for PFAS and other forever chemicals.
• Require testing and analysis of groundwater monitoring samples to include PFAS.
• Assessment of the capabilities to test for and treat PFAS at each of the wastewater treatment facilities that are proposed to accept leachate from the Infill project including how it might impacting the drinking water sources and waterways of other New York communities.
• Scientific Analysis of whether or not PFAS chemicals become airborne, and an analysis of whether the evaporation process of Reverse Osmosis treatment also causes PFAS chemicals to become airborne.
• Engineering analysis of the Tantalo Superfund Site and how the weight of added garbage on top of this site may cause compression, thereby potentially causing further groundwater contamination. Further consideration of how the mitigation efforts to potential problems at this existing superfund site will be addressed once covered by thousands of tons of trash.
• Consideration of how continued garbage truck traffic throughout the region will continue to impact other communities, our roads, and other traffic flow.
• Careful consideration of the constitutional amendment that gives all New Yorkers the right to clean air, clean water and a healthy environment, and how the DEC will protect that right if the Infill Project is approved
• Consideration of how an extension and expansion of the landfill would exist in a region that is being considered for a National Heritage Designation.
• ADD ANY ADDITIONAL ISSUES THAT YOU’D LIKE TO SEE ADDRESSED HERE
Furthermore, I request that in light of the widespread public interest in this proposal, the DEC implement an enhanced public participation plan that would provide businesses, environmental groups, surrounding schools, interested parties, surrounding communities and concerned individuals the opportunity to further engage in the process of determining how the Valley Infill Project will impact them and the future of the Finger Lakes region.
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