Commissioners approve next step to appeal landfill permit

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CLEARFIELD, Pa. (WTAJ)– The Clearfield County Commissioners unanimously voted Tuesday to move forward with the appeal of the permit for Camp Hope Run Landfill.

The permit was issued to PA Waste by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) last week.

The proposed landfill would be constructed along Route 153 in Boggs Township.

“I just feel like this wasn’t really planned or thought through from the citizens’ perspective at all, and I really feel that we need to be heard,” commissioner Dave Glass said.

The commissioners will appeal to the Environmental Hearing Board.

“We felt the proper motion was to file for an appeal,” commissioner Tony Scotto said. “Where we have a chance, where things won’t be glossed over, as they were, in the DEP’s permit process.”

The commissioners said the appeal process is long, and could take one to two years.

Dozens of people turned out for Tuesday’s meeting to encourage the commissioners to vote in favor of the appeal.

“We have school buses, we have traffic going back and forth to work, we have the coal trucks, and we’re going to add garbage trucks to the route, you’re looking for an accident to happen,” Boggs Township resident Jim Catalano said.

Along with traffic, many say the landfill will hurt the environment and quality of life in the county.

“We are really concerned about our families and the businesses that are down there,” Clearfield resident Marven Smith said. “We’ve spent a great deal of time getting together to try to see if we can stop this.”

“We can only hope that the Department of Environmental Protection does what they’re meant to do,” Lawrence Township resident Joe Kendrick said. “That is number three on their list. Protect public health. They’re not doing that currently by granting the permit to Camp Mountain Hope Run.”

PA Waste attorney Steven Rovner said the company expected the commissioners to appeal.

“We do not feel that an appeal will be successful,” Rovner said. “It has a low likelihood of success, so it doesn’t really concern us, but it will probably delay being able to get things started, which will delay the benefits of this project as long as the appeal is out there.”

Rovner said there have already been extensive traffic studies and changes to traffic lights along the routes the trucks would take.

Rovner also said the landfill would help to clean up the environment, which is has been determined to be a brownfield site after years of strip mining.

“What the landfill is going to do is treat all that water before it leaves the property and goes back into the Clearfield Creek,” Rovner said.

Rovner also said that until the landfill is constructed, there is no determination where the trash will come from.

However, the permit states that the trash cannot come from Clearfield County.

According to the DEP, in order for the permit to be approved, the application had to meet all laws, regulations and policies. It also requires a public hearing, which was held in 2018.

In an answer to WTAJ’s question regarding whether PA Waste can construct the landfill during appeal, the DEP Stated:

“PA Waste’s ability to construct during an appeal is specific to the situation.  Under certain circumstances, the Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) has the authority to issue an injunction that would prevent construction pending an appeal.”

The DEP will inspect the landfill throughout the construction process, and 12 times a year once it is operational.

The DEP is also still in the process of approving a permit regarding emissions during facility operation and could require more permits during construction.

The landfill would bring in 5,000 tons of waste per day.

PA Waste did not specify how many trucks would be on the road to carry that trash.

According to PA Waste, the landfill would create around 20 full-time jobs and generate around $370 million for Boggs Township, Clearfield County and the state of Pennsylvania.

Boggs Township will receive a $2 per ton hosting fee from PA Waste.

PA Waste has five years since the issuance of the permit to construct and begin operating the landfill.

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