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LETTER — Landfill is not a done deal

To The Editor:

The proposed 1,200-acre mega landfill in Cumberland County, Virginia, is not a done deal — far from it.

This major project requires three permit approvals by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) — solid waste, water, and air. Water permit approval by the Army Corps of Engineers and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) approval since they are looking at re-routing Pine Grove Road.

Green Ridge Recycling and their affiliates report the Notice of Intent (part of the solid waste permit) is approved by DEQ which is not a true statement. DEQ did send a letter to Green Ridge on Dec. 11, 2020. If you closely read the verbiage in the letter it states, “The Notice of Intent and the Part A application appears to be administratively complete.”

This is not a final approval but rather a step in the process which allows the DEQ to begin the technical review of the Notice of Intent and Part A application.

Here are a few facts to remember:

• Cumberland County Board of Supervisors approved the host agreement Aug. 2, 2018, after a whirlwind approval process taking less than 35 days.

• Green Ridge did not submit the Notice of Intent and Part A application until Jan. 20, 2020.

• DEQ had to request additional information from Green Ridge on more than two occasions before they gave the approval addressed.

• Next required steps on the Solid Waste Management Permit Part A are: (1) Completion of technical review; (2) public hearings by DEQ on the Notice of Intent and Part A application; and (3) correction of identified weaknesses by Green Ridge.

Don’t give up.

This is the best advice I can give to the citizens of Cumberland, Powhatan and surrounding counties concerning the proposed mega landfill in Cumberland County. Citizens of the commonwealth, this is not a local issue for Cumberland and Powhatan counties, but a statewide issue.

Do we need more trash industry in our state where we are already known as the “Trash State?” Do we need an industry that is going to cause harm to our residents such as is occurring in Charles City, Petersburg and along the Dan River? Do we need an industry that endangers our wetlands, ground and surface water and wildlife? Do we need an industry in Virginia that has a service area of 500 aerial miles? And most importantly, would you want this proposed mega landfill in your backyard?

What can you do?

The 2021 General Assembly is in session. Contact your delegates, senators and members of the Senate Agriculture Committee and ask them to support legislation supporting our environment — SB 1319, SB 1200, and SB 1186. We have only one environment and it is our duty and responsibility to protect it. This proposed landfill’s effects will be felt from our small county to many areas across the commonwealth.

Now is not the time to sit back and say it is a “done deal” but to get on the band wagon and fight. There is strength in unity. Help protect our environment.

Betty Myers

Cartersville