Grove City community fights potential landfill location proven to be radioactive
Over in Pennsylvania, it's a landfill causing some concern.
People living in and around Grove City met Friday evening to determine how they can stop a landfill that closed decades ago from reopening after there's plans to build a new one on the same property.
Frustrated yet passionate Grove City residents and members from The Citizens Environmental Association gathered to present why they don't want another landfill in town.
"Please pay attention to your communities and what you're putting out there," said one concerned resident to the crowd of about 100 people.
"It totally ruined our lives and our farms. It left me disabled and there's no way to get out of my situation," said Brian Lecanich, a Washington County resident who had an oil and gas well on his property that destroyed the water quality in his home.
A 2016 study found Seneca Landfill by Vogel Holdings was dumping leachate which is radioactive waste into a nearby creek. This means the landfill is considered radioactive and can cause terminal illness for those living nearby.
"Our goal is to through the Environmental Hearing Board to wage a legal fight pointing out the weaknesses in their application," said Bill Pritchard, President of The Citizens Environmental Association of the Slippery Rock Area. "On Friday, our target audience was people from the community to listen to experts and people who have been impacted by radioactive waste."
The landfill is permitted to take in 4,000 tons of waste per day. "This landfill will take in enough waste each day to serve the entire population of Chicago," Pritchard said. "They're going to basically operate 24 hours a day. Because of the bird hazards from the airport, they're going to apply the waste at night. Now, you have light population, it's a construction site, traffic, and the landfill can generate 850 tons of dust per year."
The Citizens Environmental Association is now asking the community to request the landfill permit be revoked by the DEP or EPA. Pritchard said he couldn't even guess why a permit was approved for Seneca Landfill in the first place.
"My gut feeling is that they don't want to take on Tri-County Industries in the court system," Pritchard said.
"Seneca Landfill was one of the 51 landfills they looked at and it happened to be in the top 9, meaning it had the most radioactive waste," said
Jane Cleary with The Citizens Environmental Association of the Slippery Rock Area.
Pritchard added the Keystone State is the second largest net importer of trash. "We don't need additional landfills. This is not about serving the residents, this is serving somebody's pocketbook."
Other requests include reaching out to local legislatures, donating to support legal fees and spreading the word on social media.
"He's not going to go away. It's too much money," Pritchard added. "I'm guessing he's going to earn a half billion dollars in revenue."
Ed Vogel of Tri-County Industries, who's been trying to open the landfill told 21 News last week that claims of contamination coming from the landfill are not accurate.
Vogel said there are limits and requirements that the landfill has to abide by, just like every other landfill in Pennsylvania.
"Tri-County has a very, very checkered past with violations," Pritchard concluded.