Landfill closer to receiving expansion permit

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DUNMORE, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The controversial Keystone Sanitary Landfill is one step closer to expanding.

For five years, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has been working on an environmental assessment. This is just one step in the DEP’s permit process. It outlines that the landfill has more benefits than harm to the community.

Keystone Sanitary Landfill disposes of tons of trash a day. Over the decades it has piled up in Dunmore and Throop.

“There are no viable, financially feasible alternatives to landfilling at this point and time,” Keystone Sanitary Landfill consultant Al Magnotta said.

Since announcing its plan to expand in 2014, Magnotta and the Denaples family have worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to make it happen. Monday, the DEP sent an environmental assessment letter to the landfill, letting them know there are more benefits than harm.

Highlighting a financial benefit to Dunmore and Throop, tax revenue, employment and more. The review noted the landfill has proposed to limit potential harm including odor and having a property value protection plan. Also, the expansion will lower the height and reduce the visibility of the proposed expansion.

“Our…continuous operation has no impact environmentally…public health, public safety for the residents of northeastern Pennsylvania,” Magnotta said.

DEP plans to move forward with the permit review process. DEP’s Northeast Regional Office director says quote: “This was a thorough environmental review where the department received substantial public comment.”

“We are the garbage capital of the country, Pennsylvania,” Dunmore mayor Tim Burke said.

Burke has been outspoken with the group Friends of Lackawanna about the environmental issue they say will continue with the landfill expansion.

“It’s amazing that they would even think of giving them another 40 years. It just blows my mind,” Burke said.

The expansion project is planned for the landfill’s already 400-acre permitted area. It’s unknown if and when DEP will approve the expansion permit.

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