Ontario’s landfills are a regional problem; the state must have a say
For the editor:
This is in response to the August 30 article, “Jordan: Revisions required”.
Carla Jordan, Ontario County’s director of sustainable development and solid waste management, had criticized DEC’s proposed changes to landfill regulations. She opposed proposed regulations, which, among other things, would prohibit new landfills or the expansion of existing landfills located within 1,000 feet of a school or residence. This “…would result in the closure of many active landfills in the state.”
She was quoted as saying, “It is the responsibility of the county to its constituents to decide how to structure their solid waste management programs and if the landfill is closed, it should be the result of a policy decision by the Board of Supervisors. . She spoke of an “overreach of state authority and giving the appearance of suppressing control of local landfills”. She also opposed provisions increasing the strength of landfill liners.
Landfill is a regional issue. The County Board of Supervisors should protect the interests of its constituents and others by promoting a clean and healthy environment, tourism, agriculture, local wineries, craft breweries, etc. He is expected to vote to close the county landfill in 2028 with provisions to accommodate only local waste and reuse recycling programs. However, if for some reason this vote goes the wrong way, then state DEC regulations should, where appropriate, be used to overrule this “policy decision of the oversight board” and shut down the landfill. Our regional environment and economy make landfill closure a decision that should not be left strictly to a local council.
So I cannot agree with Carla Jordan’s general message rejecting New York State’s authority to deal with and regulate such important environmental issues.