DEC will have hearing Sept. 16 for Albion landfill

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 September 2014 at 12:00 am

Developer wants WM permit transferred to new company

File photo by Tom Rivers – This photo from last July shows the former McKenna and Orleans Sanitary landfills next to the Erie Canal in Albion, between Densmore and Transit roads.

HOLLEY – Richard Penfold is not giving up on his push to open a new landfill in Albion. In April he was rejected by the Department of Environmental Conservation to renew a landfill permit from 11 years ago.

Penfold is challenging that decision and there will be a legislative hearing at 6 p.m. on Sept. 16 at Hickory Ridge Golf and Country Club with an issues conference to follow the next day beginning 10 a.m. Hickory Ridge is located at 15816 Lynch Rd.

DEC Administrative Law Judge D. Scott Bassinson will conduct the hearing on whether Penfold and his new company, Albion Recycling & Recovery LLC, can renew the permit. Penfold has worked in recent years to try to take ownership of the site and have a state permit approved for Waste Management of New York transferred to Albion Recycling & Recovery.

The DEC, however, decided Penfold didn’t have “the legal capacity” to renew the permit originally approved for Waste Management, according to a letter on April 9 to town officials from Scott Sheeley, the regional permit administrator for the DEC.

Waste Management received a permit from the DEC in 2003 for a new 78-acre landfill in Albion along the Erie Canal. The landfill would be between Densmore and Transit roads on the east side of town. Waste Management was unable to get a permit from the Albion Town Board for the project despite offering a host community benefits package that would have cut town taxes and offered other perks for residents.

Even if Penfold secures the DEC permit, he still would need approval from the Town Board, which has been adamant in stating its opposition to additional landfills.

Penfold has said he would offer the town a host community benefits package that would cut taxes, offer residents free garbage pickup, create jobs and also care for two existing landfills.

Stop Polluting Orleans County has opposed any new landfills in Albion. The group’s attorney, Gary Abraham, will speak at the hearing. SPOC has stated the site by the two existing landfills would be bad for the community, drawing garbage truck traffic by the schools, hurting tourism efforts, and putting a 200-foot-high mound of trash in an environmentally sensitive area. If the landfill ever leaked, SPOC worries the contamination would be difficult to track given the presence of two other landfills.

To see the full DEC notice on the hearing, click here. That notice has information on where residents can submit written comments about the issue.