Green Ridge continues to seek permit approval

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, June 15, 2022

With no end date in sight, the Green Ridge landfill is making slow but steady progress in the permitting process to allow it to open in Cumberland County.

Since early 2017, Cumberland County has been working with Green Ridge Recycling and Disposal Facility to create a landfill. It is slated to be in the county’s eastern edge off Route 60 west of Miller Lane.

Currently, Green Ridge Recycling and Disposal Facility is still working on Part A of the permit process with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). According to Green Ridge Spokesperson, Jay Smith, the process takes a long time and residents should be comforted knowing that it is not taken lightly.

“It’s a lot of back and forth,” Smith said. “But the good news is that it takes a lot of time to get everything right. We make sure everything is regulated and sufficient for the environment.”

There are numerous requirements for the landfill project, including obtaining a Wetland and Waters of the U.S. permit from the Army Corps of Engineering and water, solid waste and air permits from the DEQ. The permitting is a two-part process. Green Ridge is still working with the DEQ in Part A for site suitability before moving on to Part B for landfill design. The process includes DEQ sending back the submission with comments for Green Ridge to respond, which creates a back and forth until both parties are satisfied.

Green Ridge is also working on Phase II with the Department of Historic Resources and has submitted the historic resource evaluation. Adjacent to the property is the Pine Grove School, formerly a school for African American children during segregation. According to Smith, the landfill will not negatively affect the historic landmark and company officials have reached out to help preserve the school.

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is doing its part in checking traffic patterns for Route 60. The landfill will have a private access road more than a mile long that will keep any backup of trucks out of the main Road.

This landfill is on a 1,200-acre site. Smith explained that only 240 acres will be used as the actual landfill, along with the minimum 200-foot buffer that will go around the actual landfill site. As part of an agreement with the county, the landfill will not be accepting sludge or slate rock, which are the elements that cause landfills to give off a foul odor.

One major change that the landfill has made since its original design is the number of disposal units or areas where the waste is contained. The original plan was two but now there is only one. This change addresses some of the concerns of Cumberland County residents. The original design would have an impact on 3.38 acres of wetlands, while the new design will eliminate the impact. On the side of the no longer planned disposal units were a large number of homes that would feel the impact. Now the number of homes that are located within a half-mile of the disposal area will be reduced from 58 to 37.

Due to where the remaining disposal unit is located on the property, part of Pine Grove Road and Miller Lane will be adjusted to go around the dumping area instead of straight through it. According to Smith, this change will not affect the accessibility to areas that these roads lead.

“We looked at a lot of sites and we want to do our part in practicing good environmental justice in the area,” Smith said.