• Moretown Landfill vital in many ways
    October 31,2012

    Moretown Landfill vital in many ways

    The Moretown Development Review Board, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and District 5 Environmental Commission have a very important application with statewide implications before them regarding the proposed expansion of the Moretown Landfill. The significance of this facility to Vermont’s solid waste infrastructure will hopefully be recognized in their deliberations and decisions. Denial will assuredly result in significantly increased disposal costs and illicit disposal activities.

    Some irrefutable facts that hopefully will be considered are: The landfill exists in a host community that has generally welcomed and significantly benefited from it. It is centrally located to many of our population centers and proximate to the interstate highway. It has proven itself to be responsible environmental stewards with continued investment for improvements in response to increasingly challenging and sometimes overly onerous regulatory requirements. It is a regional economic driver that has provided steady employment to many, directly and indirectly. It abuts existing high-voltage power lines and generates electricity for 2,800 homes with opportunities for more. It and many of its employees are significant contributors to community service organizations and activities.

    Most importantly, it is one of only two certified operating landfills in the state. The other is located on the Canadian border. If this application is denied, a private-sector monopoly will be created for this important public necessity. The significant negative economic impacts are obvious. The negative environmental impacts associated with long and longer haul trucking will also be substantial.

    In my opinion, approval of the application with conditions to minimize environmental risk and nuisance to the neighbors is the only reasonable and prudent choice. The Legislature should take note of the precarious position we find ourselves in with only two solid waste disposal facilities. Action to secure more regionally dispersed facilities for the foreseeable future is advisable. Even if the Moretown Landfill permit application is granted, the clock will be still be ticking on the limited landfill capacity available for this important public need.

    Harry Shepard


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