No 14-day out for landfill deal

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, February 26, 2020

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The sale of County Waste of Virginia to Canadian-headquartered company GFL (Green For Life) Environmental has sparked questions regarding a possible 14-day window for the Cumberland County Board of Supervisors to reevaluate or object to the current Community Host Agreement between the county and Green Ridge Recycling and Disposal Facility.

Cumberland County Administrator Don Unmussig and Jay Smith, spokesman for Green Ridge Recycling and Disposal Facility, said the sale of County Waste of Virginia does not trigger any reevaluation of the agreement.

Rumors about a possible reevaluation circled mainly around Section 6.7 of the Community Host Agreement, titled “Transferability of Agreement.”

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Section 6.7 highlights that no assignment of the agreement or any right accruing under the agreement shall be made by Green Ridge without the express written consent of the county, except for a subsidiary or wholly-owned affiliate of Green Ridge or County Waste of Virginia, LLC.

Section 6.7 says, “Any assignment, other than to a permitted subsidiary, without the consent of the county shall be void.” The section also states that the county may object in writing to the assignment within 14 days of receiving a receipt of proof for the sale if the county questions the financial condition of the subsidiary or wholly-owned affiliate.

County Waste of Virginia owns Green Ridge Recycling and Disposal Facility. After Green Ridge announced the sale of County Waste of Virginia to GFL Environmental at the beginning of this year, many county residents and activists questioned whether the sale would trigger this 14-day reevaluation period of the proposed mega landfill’s host agreement with the county.

Unmussig told The Herald Friday, Feb. 21, that the transaction between GFL Environmental and County Waste of Virginia did not require or in any way result in the assignment of the host agreement from Green Ridge to any other person.

Unmussig said Green Ridge remains the primary party under the agreement, and that the transaction did not result in a direct change in control of Green Ridge, which remains a subsidiary of County Waste of Virginia.

“We further do not see any provisions in the host agreement which were violated or resulted in a default by Green Ridge of its obligations under the host agreement as a result of the County Waste/GFL transaction,” he added.

Smith reiterated that the company, as stated in January, did not see a change in leadership after the sale and that the same individuals will still be working on the Green Ridge project. He confirmed Monday, Feb. 24, that the sale of County Waste of Virginia to GFL Environmental had been finalized.

Anti-landfill group Cumberland County Landfill Alert representative Betty Myers said the group is consulting its lawyer after the comments made by Unmussig regarding the agreement.

“We have sought the advice of our legal counsel concerning CCLA’s response to the comment made by Don Unmussig, Cumberland County administrator, concerning the sale of Green Ridge/County Waste. We are waiting for his response at this time.”