BOGGS TOWNSHIP – While some people protested outside, representatives from area municipalities and Clearfield County officials voiced their concerns at the Local Municipal Involvement Process.
The LMIP was held by the Department of Environmental Protection for the Camp Hope Run Landfill in Boggs Township. The purpose of the meeting was to give PA Waste LLC, owners of the proposed landfill site, the opportunity to explain what they intend to do. It also gave area municipalities and county officials the chance to voice their concerns on the record to both DEP and PA Waste LLC.
Jim Leitzinger, president of Clearfield Borough Council and one of many council members present, voiced council’s concerns.
Leitzinger read from a letter to DEP from Clearfield Borough Council.
“The members of the Clearfield Borough Council are extremely concerned and opposed to the opening of the Camp Hope Run Landfill,” said Leitzinger.
He pointed out that Clearfield Borough is concerned with truck traffic, possible accidents involving garbage spillage on the ground and surrounding waterways, road and property damage, strain on police and fire departments, as well as many other concerns.
“The Borough Council of Clearfield has a long term commitment to improving Clearfield and this landfill will only lower the standard and quality of life for our citizens,” said Leitzinger.
William Lawhead, chairman of the Lawrence Township Supervisors and speaking on behalf of the supervisors, said they were concerned with traffic on state Route 879 going onto Park Avenue. He noted this stretch of road was one of the busiest in Lawrence Township.
Lawhead voiced his concern over the undue strain the added traffic could have on his 10-man police force as well as the township’s fire departments. Lawhead said the strain is not something that Lawrence Township could afford.
Lawhead also said that while traffic studies have shown that traffic will come off of Interstate 80 at exit 120, he believes that many drivers would leave I-80 at exit 111 as well.
Ron Genesi, Woodward Township Supervisor, had similar concerns. Genesi asked about the possibility of traffic coming from the southern parts of the state, through Houtzdale and Osceola Mills.
“What about property values,” asked Genesi, who noted that there is a lot of space to develop in his township.
Genesi also voiced concerns over the smell the landfill could bring with it.
Andy Rebar of Decatur Township had a number of questions for the DEP representatives. Rebar asked how much public opinion DEP would take into consideration. One example he gave was what impact the landfill would have on the skyline.
DEP representatives said they want “substantial facts” to back up concerns. In the above instance, for example, they would want sight lines.
State Rep. Camille “Bud” George, D-74 Houtzdale voiced his concerns about traffic into the proposed landfill.
“This proposal would put hundreds of garbage trucks on inadequate roads,” said George.
He also commented on the land itself.
“It is land that should be prized and not plundered,” said George.
Kim Kesner, solicitor for Clearfield County, spoke on the county’s behalf at the LMIP. Kesner asked DEP to impose the maximum timeline of 24 months.
“There should be no move to rush this,” said Kesner, who added that the county was essentially bargaining against itself in the 21 month time-frame that DEP was recommending.
DEP representatives said they will stick to the 21 month timeline.
Kesner also pointed out that while PA Waste LLC claims the landfill will help with Clearfield County’s waste management plan, the county currently has excess capacity. Kesner said PA Waste’s application did not mention where the waste would be coming from.
Kesner also asked if the sight was going to be built for resale purposes or if PA Waste would see the project through until the end.
The county solicitor also called the landfill inconsistent with the county’s comprehensive plan.
For a full list of the concerns and application deficiencies that the Clearfield County Commissioners and Kesner filed at the LMIP, keep reading GantDaily.com.
After the meeting, Clearfield County Commissioner Mark McCracken pointed out that he was pleased with the turnout at the LMIP. McCracken said he was happy that municipalities took the chance to turn out and make their voices heard.
Joan McMillen of Clearfield Borough Council said it was hard to say how things went. McMillen also said that concerned parties should come together to get the application process denied.
“I thought it was a good meeting,” said Darryl Lashinski, head of the group opposed to the landfill. “It was very informative.
The application permitting process begins Friday at 12 a.m.
Keep reading GantDaily.com for more stories from the LMIP and information on the permitting process as it becomes available.