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Attleboro Landfill: Brilliant Math and The Rail Option

The so-called rail option is a red herring that has never been seriously considered.

The Patch is a great source for following the . To Attleboro City Councilor Richard Conti, I applaud your ! $2.52 per ton for Attleboro. Norton will not name a price.

But does it not strike anyone as really stupid to accept an offer of 25 cents a ton when the standard fee is at least $1?

And the nerve of EndCap to lowball this, not only in its 2009 "mitigation agreement" signed by Mayor Dumas, but that same miserable figure is part of the agreement that EndCap attorney Richard Nylen has been trying to get Norton's new town manager to sign since January.

Someone should also set the record straight: ALI Phase B is NOT an "environmentally dangerous site."

And one does NOT "protect groundwater" by piling 1.2 million tons of contaminated debris on a relatively benign site—creating an additional Noxious MOUND.
I also wish everyone would grasp the concept of MassDEP's approval process, and that "community acceptance" is a critical element for DEP approval. MassDEP issues "enforcement actions' to landfill owners. They do not issue "ultimatums' to communities" (except where the municipality is the owner).

And DEP must give very serious consideration to the impacted towns and cities positions (acceptance or not) of a landfill closure project proposal.

Also, the so-called "rail option" is for EndCap to haul in 1.2 million tons of contaminated debris to be dumped at the ALI Phase B Site is quite frankly—a red herring.

While it may have been mentioned in passing back in 2008, this option never received serious consideration by anyone and certainly was NOT a preferred alternative.

EndCap is a trucking operation. They would have no interest in even exploring rail transport.

Everyone should stay focused on EndCap's project proposal as it was presented at the Aug. 14 public information meeting in Norton and not allow this red herring of an idea to be a distraction. It's dump trucks, not trains! Always was, always will be ...

Heather Graf is a resident of Norton. This commentary originally appeared on Norton Patch.

Jerry Chase September 12, 2012 at 05:30 PM
It may be a "red herring", to be sure. Yet it is the Commonwealth's EPA [or DEQE] that has the enventual final say. Said state agency could indeed determine that such material be shipped by rail, if and when it might be required. After all, who has the "deepest pockets" here? The Commonwealth, of course! Clearly, the fault lies with K. Dumas. This false urgency is suspicious by definition. And for those who wonder when the public hearing was held for said "agreement" signed by Dumas a few years ago, be aware that lots of stuff can be crafted, enacted, or signed withOUT any public hearing on the matter. Unfortunate, but true.
Heather Graf September 12, 2012 at 07:44 PM
The Commonwealth of Mass. has empty pockets. It is Jay Cashman Inc. - the huge construction firm needing to dump 'slightly contaminated' (by their own admission)materials, and EndCap Technology LLC - the trucking operation, which have the very deep pockets. They stand to make huge profits by transporting One Million, Two Hundred Thousand Tons of 'Undesirable Debris' out of Boston, Ct. & RI to create an additional Noxious Mound in our midst. They take us for morons! Both EndCap and MassDEP have stated the rail option does not work. It is most certainly a 'red herring'.
Jerry Chase September 12, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Does this mean that you think that you don't pay high enough taxes yet? Trust me; the Commonwealth has boatloads of money, even after wasting much of it. So, Heather, what is YOUR solution here? To simply oppose in not the answer, in my view. The rail option CAN BE MADE TO WORK, especially if the Commonwealth is motivated to protect the life and limb of children along the proposed route(s) of trucks to deliver the 'cover'. I am a realist, have been in the heavy construction industry for over two decades, and thus judge from experience. To repeat, Heather: what is YOUR solution?
Roxanne Houghton September 13, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Jerry: The rail option would mean that contaminated material would have to be dumped for 12-15 years to bring in enough for EndCap and the owner of the "dump" to make the money that they want, to satisfy the capping....that is just not realistic. The pile of "railed in" contaminants would be about as high as the Empire State Building for pete's sake! How could you justify that activity tn an area surrounded by homes and families.....just not realistic...... The landfill can be capped as is .......do you really believe that the owner has no money? The landfill may never be capped. It is an unlined landfill - and they will leak forever. The front part is capped and it leaks and dead animals are found in the leakage. In fact right now there is a suspicion from DEP that it is leaking vinyl chloride - bad stuff. There is no good answer - but some alternatives are better than others. We have done a lot of research on this. Could the city take the land? If a "dump" is owned by a municipality, there are grants that could help with the cost of capping......
Heather Graf September 13, 2012 at 10:40 AM
Solution: Owner of Attleboro Landfill Inc. - a Private, For Profit Enterprise, that made millions of dollars, take responsibility for the limited 'capping' (50,000 cubic yards of clean soil and sand) to create an impervious layer - so that MassDEP can check the ALI 'Phase B' Site off their landfill list. If the 'responsible party' must liquidate some assets to comply - so be it. A few less wooden statues in Attleboro would not be a travesty. You are a 'Johnny Come Lately' on this case Jerry. There is so much more at stake than just the transport issue. Reasonable minds do not advocate piling 650,000 cubic yards of 'slightly contaminated' debris (600,000 more than needed) on a low and level, benign site - to create another Noxious Mound in our midst. That has the potential for much more serious and long-term impacts than your dramatic 'life and limb of children' trucking scenario. This is the sixth time in twelve years that I have been involved with the 'Bail Out ALI Schemes'. Five of those times it has been the same stupid plan, which Norton has rejected. Jerry - I will debate you on the Attleboro Landfill, Shpack Superfund Site, or South Coast Rail Projects anytime. Whether or not the Commonwealth has 'boatloads of money' is not worthy of my precious time.

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