Landfill Summit Draws Big Crowd

CLEARFIELD – Well over 100 people turned out to the landfill summit at the Third Ward fire hall on Thursday night. Those in attendance heard about a number of issues, such as possible health, transportation and quality of life problems that could occur should landfills be permitted in three sights, Boggs, Chest and Rush townships.

The audience, a cross-section of backgrounds that included Clearfield County Commissioners Mark McCracken and Rex Read, was treated to speeches by state Reps. Camille “Bud” George, D-74 of Houtzdale, and Dan Surra, D-75 of Kersey. George focused mainly on the proposed Boggs Township landfill, and weighed the potential harms versus benefits of that proposed landfill.

“There is no benefit to that landfill except to that person who owns the land and the people bringing the garbage in,” said George.

George added that the landfill developers want to divide their opponents.

“Let’s stick together on this one,” said George.

Surra shared his own experience fighting the Greentree Landfill. According to Surra he started out as an activist before he ran for office.

“You better be in it for the long haul,” Surra told the crowd. Surra related that it can take years to battle landfill developers.

Surra stated that he believed the landfill developers go after rural places because they are rural and relatively poor.

Surra gave the crowd some direction to better help them and the landfill opposition better combat the landfill developers. Surra urged the opposition to organize.

“They have the money, we have the people,” said Surra.

Surra called on the groups to network to share information about landfill developers as well to share strategy.

Surra reiterated that the opponents of landfill development should be in it for the long haul.

“There is no silver bullet to stopping these things,” said Surra.

Sam Ettaro, event organizer, spoke about the possible effects the landfills could have on tourism as well as the possible effects they could have the people’s health as well.

Men representing the opposition to landfills in Boggs, Chest and Rush townships gave the crowds updates on how their respective fights are going. Mike Savage of People Protecting Communities, the group fighting the proposed Rush Township landfill, suggested that the folks fighting Boggs and Chest Township landfills need to do their homework. He suggested they meet with the Department of Environmental Protection, PennDOT and other governing agencies to help them see where they stand and to better understand how the processes work.

The other men who spoke were Darryl Lashynsky, president of the group fighting the proposed Boggs Township landfill and Carl Michael of the Chest Township resistence.

The event was sponsored by The Citizens Advocate.

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