No one at a public hearing Thursday evening opposed expansion of the Carbon Limestone Landfill, but several people raised concerns about a horizontal-drilling permit issued for the property.
The landfill wants to add 73 acres and 47 million cubic yards of airspace, which would equate to about an 85-foot height increase. It first applied to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for the expansion permit in 2007.
Since then, the application was under technical review, and the EPA had a public hearing here as part of the application process.
The expansion would add about 50 years of active life to the 750-acre landfill on State Line Road so that it would remain active for 80 more years.
Albert Sciulli, of Miller Road, was the only resident who entered his comments into the EPA record at the hearing.
“I don’t have a problem with the expansion, but I think they could do [more] for the residents near the landfill,” said Sciulli, who lives a half-mile from the landfill.
He said he believes the landfill has been a good neighbor with its contributions to the township park and local governments, but said the residents who live nearby have the burden of being close to the landfill. Residents who live near the landfill do have free garbage collection.
At least a dozen days out of the year the landfill gives off a strong odor in the morning and the expansion will make the landfill more pronounced in the landscape, possibly affecting property values and making it difficult for residents to sell their homes, Sciulli said.
During the information session that preceded the hearing, Anthony Vecchiarelli, of Stymie Road, was one of the residents who asked EPA representatives about the horizontal-drilling permit issued to Hillcorp Energy Co. for a site near Cowden Road. The site is on property owned by the landfill but is not in an area where any past, present or future landfills are planned.
“As far as I’m concerned the landfill’s been an asset to our part of the township. [Landfill managers] make sure everything’s running smoothly,” Vecchiarelli said. “But I am opposed to fracking, and I hope it doesn’t move too fast.”
EPA representatives referred questions to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which regulates the industry.
Mike Heher, manager of the Republic Services-operated landfill, said the company has negotiated a “tough lease” for mineral rights and said at the present time, there has been no discussion of an injection-well permit being sought for the land.
Injection wells are used to dispose of fracking byproducts. The permit issued by ODNR is for a drilling well to extract oil and natural gas.
Another resident asked EPA environmental engineer Allison Giancola: “Do we have anything to fear” with the landfill?
Giancola said the landfill complies with all EPA regulations and the expansion permit meets all of the agency’s environmental laws and regulations.
The EPA will likely make a decision about the expansion permit in the next two to three months, said Mike Settles, EPA media relations coordinator.
Written comments about the landfill’s expansion-permit application will be accepted until Nov. 26 and should be sent to Ohio EPA, Division of Materials and Waste Management, Processing and Records Management Unit, P.O. 1049, Columbus, OH 43216-1049.