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Wayne Post
  • Town Board sets meeting on final scoping document

  • The Arcadia Town Board will meet Monday, Nov. 26 to approve the final scoping document that will define what studies must be done as part of the State Environmental Quality Review Act for the proposed solid waste facility.

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  • The Arcadia Town Board will meet Monday, Nov. 26 to approve the final scoping document that will define what studies must be done as part of the State Environmental Quality Review Act for the proposed solid waste facility.
    The Nov. 26 meeting is the last opportunity the board will have to move the SEQRA process forward by approving the final scoping document. The town collected 101 letters from concerned residents and involved and interested agencies regarding the proposal to sell town-owned land to Arcadia Hills LLC developer Joe Alloco for the purpose of developing a solid waste facility at the site of the old landfill on Route 88.
    “The final scoping document is a blue print or outline of what the project sponsor will have to study in the Environmental Impact Statement,” Town Attorney David Saracino said. “We had some excellent comments. The thoroughness of some of them is unbelievable.”
    Saracino said some of the concerns will not be addressed simply because they aren’t legitimate concerns under scoping, but the town’s engineering firm, MRB, is taking every concern seriously as they draft the final scoping document.
    Residents attending the meeting weren’t convinced, voicing their fears that legitimate concerns will be omitted to ensure the project moves forward.
    “Some of the concerns are obvious, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be mitigated,” Saracino said. “You’ve got to have some faith or common sense. This town board’s engineer is not going to ignore your comments.”
    Once the studies outlined in the final scoping document are complete, Saracino explained, a draft EIS will be presented to the board. This process is done entirely at the expense of the developer. Saracino said the board then intends to hold a public hearing regarding the draft EIS to determine if all concerns have been adequately mitigated. If they have, the board will approve a final EIS and ultimately a public referendum will be held that will allow residents to vote yea or nay on the sale of the property. If the public vote opposes the sale of the land, the landfill proposal will be a dead issue. If residents vote in favor of the land sale, the board must then repeal the no landfill law currently on the books.
    Among the comments residents gave voice to through the scoping process, concerns included underwater and surface water contamination, deteriorating property values, noise and air pollution, litter, toxic waste fires, and a lack of confidence in the town board to monitor events at the landfill.
    Miller Road resident John Stiles wrote concerns regarding the lack of competitive bidding on the property and the town’s failure to develop a website to ensure transparency, among other issues that affect communities beyond Arcadia’s borders.
    The Bergen Swamp Society has a special interest in the proposed landfill with Zurich Bog neighboring the property where the facility would be located. Society trustees wrote separate letters expressing their concerns.
    Page 2 of 2 - “The EAF (Environmental Assessment Form) and scope is woefully inadequate in addressing any impact the repeal of the law will have on the whole of the town of Arcadia,” Bergen Swamp Sociey Trustee and Arcadia resident Ken Townsend wrote in his letter. “The EAF is nothing but a carbon copy of the EAF for the sale of surplus land on Route 88. The EAF needs to identify other locations in the town that would be appropriate for a landfill in geology, hydrology and soil type. The EAF should address specific environmental impacts on those areas, not on just the proposed area on Route 88.”
    As the developer, Alloco’s credentials were also questioned.
    “There is no business plan that has been made available to the public for Arcadia Hills, LLC,” Society Trustee and Arcadia resident Margaret Pelletier wrote. “Arcadia Hills, LLC has not shown any evidence of their qualifications in running a landfill, nor of a history of successful operations they have been party to. The citizens must be provided with a complete history of the potential buyer before they can make an educated decision as to the capabilities of this company in operating a landfill.”
    An issue of significant concern has been truck traffic through the village and along major routes. Concerns have included the significant maintenance costs associated with the anticipated high volume of trucks on roads not constructed for this purpose.
    “The analysis of transportation-related impacts needs to include a thorough discussion of the costs that will be incurred by the town of Arcadia, the village of Newark, Wayne County and New York state for maintenance and reconstruction of roads along the proposed garbage truck routes,” Concerned Citizens of Arcadia President Andy Bodine stated in a letter on behalf of CCoA.
     
    He also inquired as to how Arcadia Hills intends to reimburse the municipalities for the maintenance and reconstruction costs.
    The meeting, set for Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. in the second floor courtroom of the municipal building at 100 E. Miller St., will include a presentation of the final scoping document by MRB as well as time for public comment.
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