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The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) is taking its time with the Moretown Landfill.
After issuing an “intent to deny” the Route 2 facility’s recertification in December, the ANR has pushed back its final decision date from Friday, March 8, to Wednesday, March 13 and yet again to Friday, March 15..
According to Ben Gauthier of the ANR’s solid waste management division, “Certain people were unavailable to review the information,” and that delayed the process. “It happens,” he said, explaining that the ANR will likely announce its decision on Thursday, March 14.
There are a lot of things to take into consideration. During the public comment period in January and February, the ANR received over 200 comments from Vermonters explaining how Moretown Landfill affects their livelihood.
While many of those comments came from Moretown residents, who either depend on the landfill as a source of revenue or suffer from its strong off-site odors, others came from out-of-towners, such as small business owners who worry how closing one of the state’s two landfill’s will increase their already high overhead costs for trash removal and environmentalists urging the ANR to take a stance against shoddy environmental practices.
Last fall Moretown Landfill was cited for several environmental violations—including failure to control off-site odors— but the facility switched ownership from Interstate Waste Services to Advaned Disposal Services in September and has since made improvements to correct those violations, the company explained in its comment to the ANR.
The public comment period, which was initially scheduled to end on Feburary 5, was extended until March to give Advanced Disposal more time to demonstrate the effects of their improvements. Whether the ANR thinks the facility is capable of improvement will become clear when the ANR issues its final decision.