WEST DECATUR – When a question is asked, it’s customary for an answer to be given.
Sometimes those answers take a few seconds, other times minutes or even weeks pass. In rare occasions, months go by before answers are received.
Such was the case for Boggs Township residents who were waiting for answers from PA Waste LLC since the supervisors there sent a letter filed with questions in November.
Some answers came Wednesday night when the township supervisors held a special meeting so that the firm putting together the landfill company’s application to the Department of Environmental Protection could speak, but moreover, so residents could hear answers and perhaps ask more questions.
Randy Wood of Marshall Miller & Associates of Camp Hill presented maps and facts for PA Waste and then allowed the public to comment with more answers coming from legal representatives for the township and PA Waste and Wood.
The public had plenty to say after Wood’s presentation with people spilling out of the township meeting room and even leaning in through the building’s windows to hear the news.
Wood said the land for the proposed landfill includes about 2,000 acres of property in total with the facility’s boundary at 845 acres. The actual waste disposal area, in the center of the facility, will be 221 acres.
Wood said the biggest problem PA Waste faces is that people aren’t aware of how a modern-day landfill operates. Today, there are safeguards put into place, such as lining the site, that weren’t used in the past, he said.
Wood noted that Pennsylvania alone produces 14 million tons of waste per year, and while other options are available, landfills remain at the top of the list to get rid of all that trash.
“Landfills are the best and most economic way to deal with waste,” Wood said. He did note that waste at the proposed site will come from places other than Pennsylvania after a question came from concerned citizens.
The proposed landfill, being dubbed Camp Hope Run, will be about seven miles from Clearfield on state Route 153.
Wood said traffic, a concern often raised by residents in Boggs Township and in neighboring municipalities, will increase by 13 percent along SR 153 and by 9 to 10 percent elsewhere.
Those numbers, Wood said, are low. “The impact – based on current use of the roads – is minimal.”
The figures represent 250 trucks traveling to and from the plant each day from Interstate 80, onto SR 879 and then onto SR 153.
PA Waste is proposing that the township adjust an ordinance so that the facility can accept waste Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m. While the landfill will be closed to haulers during other hours, information from the company states: “The site may operate 24 hours per day, seven days a week to include waste disposal support activities, construction, maintenance, monitoring, operation of landfill environmental management and control systems and other associated support activities.”
The landfill is expected to have a 25-year lifespan with 5,000 tons of trash being hauled each day after the first four years of 1,000 tons per day.
In exchange, Boggs Township residents near the landfill are being promised a wastewater treatment facility, one that is needed to treat leachate from the landfill and will also treat wastewater from nearby homes. Residents in other areas of the township are already served by the Wallaceton-Boggs Municipal Authority, and the proposed plant would be owned and operated by the same authority.
Residents will also be permitted to dispose of their household waste for free, up to a ton and one-half per year.
Marven Smith, Lawrence Township resident, said plenty is being done for residents of Boggs Township, but asked what about those who live in other municipalities who will be affected by the proposed landfill. Wood said those people should go back to their own municipality officials and find solutions there.
Trucks will travel through a portion of Lawrence Township on their way to the landfill. Some property owners in other municipalities find their homes situated within one mile of the planned facility.
The next step will be for PA Waste to submit their application to DEP. Once that happens, a Local Municipality Involvement Process, a meeting for the permit to be reviewed by local leaders, will be scheduled within 30 days.