The Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board has declined to rescind Keystone Sanitary Landfill’s operating permit.
In 2014, Keystone first submitted its expansion plan to the DEP to begin a lengthy review process on increasing the landfill’s permitted disposal area from 335 acres to 435 acres and pile waste up to 165 feet higher than currently allowed. And in 2016, the Keystone Sanitary Landfill was granted an expansion to compile about 38 additional years of engineering details about its controversial expansion plan.
The Friends of Lackawanna appealed Judge Leonard Zito’s decision in Lackawanna County Court that the grassroots organization and a group of residents who live in the Swinick development lack legal standing to challenge the landfill’s nearly 45-year expansion proposal.
The board rejected most of Friends of Lackawanna’s objections. The only change is that the facility must prepare a groundwater assessment plan because of contamination a monitoring well has picked up for 15 years.
The Times-Tribune has the report:
The appeal was one of three ways the grass-roots group contested Keystone’s nearly 45-year expansion proposal for the landfill in Dunmore and Throop. Friends of Lackawanna continues to advocate DEP reject the expansion application, while pursuing a zoning challenge that has reached Commonwealth Court.
Keystone attorney Jeffrey Belardi said his team was happy with the outcome of the Environmental Hearing Board appeal.
“It showed that FOL on numerous counts failed to carry its burden of proof,” Belardi said. “It concluded that there is no evidence that KSL is causing (widespread) groundwater contamination, and it showed that the department has done a thorough review of KSL’s permit renewal. It appropriately states until society figures out another way to eliminate waste, landfills will remain a public necessity.”