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North Rd. soil mine application approved by DEC

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner, Joseph Martens, announced this week that Seneca Meadows, Inc. has met all of the environmental requirements for their proposed, North Road soil mine application, and that the application is approved. An operating permit for the soil mine is expected to be issued within the next few weeks.The commissioner’s decision was based on a 59 page hearing report prepared by Administrative Law Judge, Edward Buhrmaster, which explained, in exhaustive detail, the meritless nature of the issue raised for adjudication, in a June 2012 hearing, by mine opponents, Concerned Citizens of Seneca County, and other interested parties.Don Gentilcore, Area Manager for Seneca Meadows said this about the ruling, “The definitive nature of this ruling serves to confirm that we have gone well above and beyond the requirements to ensure that this project is protective of residents and the environment, and has been designed in accordance with all applicable regulations. Seneca Meadows listened to the issues brought to us by residents throughout the entire application process, and consulted with the Waterloo Town Board. We addressed these important issues by reducing the mine size, increasing setback distances, and establishing a property value protection plan. We look forward to working with the Town as we progress with the development of this project.” The Meadows View Mine site on North Road will greatly reduce over-the-road soil truck traffic, and its associated emissions, by eliminating travel through the Village of Waterloo and adjacent neighborhoods. Traffic associated with this new soil mine will be limited to a single crossing of Burgess Road from the mine site to the landfill site.Clay soil is an essential material for landfills in New York State for the protection of both groundwater and air. Two clay liners are combined with two high density polyethylene liners underneath the landfill to form a five foot thick liner system which acts as a barrier between the waste and the underlying groundwater table.The clay is also used to cap landfills. Landfill caps are designed to achieve two goals: They trap landfill gas for its removal and conversion to energy, and they help prevent the formation of leachate by blocking rainwater from contacting the waste.The Meadow View Mine application was first submitted in April of 2009. The application was deemed complete, and a draft permit was issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on October 13, 2011. An issues conference was held in November of 2011, in which, special interest group, Concerned Citizens of Seneca County, and other interested parties, raised multiple issues which, with the exception of one issue, were rejected due to a lack of substantive and significant evidence. The remaining issue, involving particulate matter control efficiency calculations, was adjudicated by Administrative Law Judge, Edward Buhrmaster. Judge Buhrmaster’s decision, which has now been confirmed by the commissioner, states that Seneca Meadows has met all regulatory standards with regard to the calculation of particulate control efficiency, and that based on those calculations, the particulate emissions from the project were deemed to be insignificant per the regulatory standards, and that therefore, the Meadow View Mine permit should be issued.A full copy of the Commissioner’s ruling can be found on the Seneca Meadows website at www.senecameadows.com.

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