Two Potential Landfills Discussed at Clearfield County Commissioners Meeting

CLEARFIELD – Two proposed landfill projects were discussed at the Clearfield County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday morning.

The first landfill discussed was the proposed Harmony Landfill in Chest Township. It was announced that permit applications have been submitted to DEP for the proposed landfill.

Commissioner Joan Robinson-McMillen said the commissioners have 60 days to respond to DEP concerning the application.

“We will look over the application with the same eye we have on Boggs Township,” said Commissioner Mark McCracken.

He went on to state that the commissioners are working on a list of concerns to send to DEP.

Both McMillen and McCracken stressed that proposed landfills not only affect the communities they are planned in, but also communities along their waste-haulers’ travel route. McCracken said the traffic from this landfill will affect more municipalities than the proposed Camp Hope Run Landfill in Boggs Township.

County Solicitor Kim Kesner pointed out that proposed landfills must show a harms vs. benefits analysis.

“Their comparison takes up a mere eight pages,” said Kesner.

Kesner added that the Harmony Landfill permit application is available for public perusale at the Clearfield County Courthouse.

“The application is here for the public to access,” said Kesner.

The next landfill issue concerned a possible rail line reactivation. Commissioner Chairman John Sobel stated that RJ Corman is looking to reactivate a 20-mile stretch of the Beech Creek rail line from Wallaceton Borough to Gorton in Centre County.

Sobel said that the commissioners believe the route will be used for waste hauling to a proposed landfill in Rush Township.

“We are looking at potentially three big landfill projects in a 30-mile radius,” commented McCracken.

He went on to state that the rail line is completely abandoned. He said that a conservative cost estimate for reactivating the line is around $25 million.

“Who’s going to build this rail line,” asked McCracken. He also noted that a portion of the line in Centre County was previously turned over to Rails to Trails. “Who’s going to pay the legal costs?”

“I certainly hope no tax dollars will be used to fund this endeavor,” stated McCracken.

McMillen said there are 27 road crossings along this proposed line. She said there will be 55 train cars per day, and one train every day for six days.

“What happens if there’s a spill,” asked McMillen. “Who’s responsible for the clean up and to who’s liking?”

“This is a big picture item,” said McCracken. “I have to question, with rising fuel costs whether the industry of moving garbage hundreds of miles every day is a good solution.”

“We’re getting dumped on,” added McCracken. “How many more times do we have to go through this?”

The Clearfield County Commissioners are working in conjunction with different Centre County agencies on the Beech Creek rail line issue.

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