The lateral expansion is another 6 acres of capacity, but it does not increase the height of the existing, permitted operation or expand the outer limits. It would only continue the landfill's operation within the presently permitted footprint.
As part of the approval process for the lateral expansion, a public hearing was held by the Region 2000 Services Authority last April (2015) and by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) last August (2015). Citizens came and voiced concerns including but not limited to:
• property value impacts;
• bird hazards;
• noise concerns; and odor.
The DEQ subsequently approved the lateral expansion change to the Service Authority's Solid Waste Management Plan. Please click HERE to view that correspondence from DEQ. (In some browsers you may need to right click to rotate the document clockwise.)
Another public hearing was held on Jan. 6, 2016 related to the DEQ’s consideration of the Air Permit at which numerous citizens voiced concerns about the intolerable odors emanating from the landfill facility.
In response to the concerns raised during the public hearings that related to the lateral expansion, the Services Authority has attempted to address odors by:
Installing a pilot gas extraction system to pull gas from the landfill and filter/burn it off. (a new, larger compressor for this system was installed on January 13, 2016);
Installing a pilot misting system to address/mask odors; and
Adjusting the PH of the sludge received at the Lynchburg Wastewater Plant to make it less offensive and easier to handle.
The Board of Supervisors’ only role thus far in consideration of the lateral expansion was to authorize the local certification that the proposed expansion did not/does not conflict with existing ordinances. This is essentially a “yes/no” question and given the fact that the proposed expansion did not/does not conflict with our ordinances, the local certification was executed. Click HERE to view the legal opinion regarding the certification.
The lateral expansion is critical based upon the following considerations:
Every resident of the County contributes to the waste stream and the County must have an adequate mechanism to dispose of the community’s waste.
Permitting for alternative options is estimated to take 10 years. Given the matter was being considered in 2015 and the landfill capacity would be reached in 2022, there was not have adequate time to identify an alternative; have it permitted; secure financing for that alternative; construct the alternative and have it operational.
Planning must begin for strategies post 2029 so that the County and the Services Authority do not find themselves in the same circumstance faced with the lateral expansion wherein there was not sufficient time to identify alternatives. Thus, Services Authority is working to develop options for waste disposal post 2029, directing staff (at their Jan.27, 2016 meeting) to proceed with a planning process to identify long term strategies. That work will be underway over the next several months.