The Massachusetts Department of Enviornmental Protection has halted its review of the proposed Attleboro Landfill capping project , putting an immediate end to a controversial plan that had frightened many residents and leaders in Norton and Attleboro.
MassDEP Regional Director Philip Weinberg wrote a letter Thursday to EndCap Technology attorney Richard Nylen stating the soil/sediment management company had requested the state agency end its review of the project. The Sun Chronicle reported EndCap had withdrawn its proposal due to a lack of support from the local communities.
The news has, at least briefly, united Mayor Kevin Dumas and City Councilor Jonathan Weydt, who represents Ward 4 where the landfill is located. The two had been at odds over issues with the proposal. They released a joint statement Friday.
"We are pleased that the voices of Attleboro residents, and especially those living in Ward 4, were heard loud and clear by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and that any future proposals will require the same level of scrutiny," they wrote.
EndCap had agreed to pay for the final phase of the DEP-ordered capping of the landfill on Peckham Street, a project site owner Albert Dumont said he could not afford to do. To make its participation financially worthwhile, EndCap had planned to deliver what others described as "slightly contaminated material" to the landfill via a route that touched on Taunton and went through Norton and Attleboro. The material would come from clients that paid EndCap to get rid of their waste and would become fill for the landfill prior to completion of the capping.
This plan raised many alarms, with people saying local roads could not handle the trucks that were expected to make deliveries five to six days per week, three times a day, for up to four years. Also, people were concerned about the movement of "slightly contaminated material," although EndCap had objected to the use of the term and said only MassDEP-approved waste would be used. Others alleged there were ulterior motives for the plan and said it was a proposal in disguise to reopen the landfill.
MassDEP had received more than 90 public comments from residents and local leaders about EndCap's proposal—nearly all of them in opposition. Nylen told Patch in October that the comments reminded him of the U.S. presidential campaign because he hadn't seen one that offered a solution. "Everything's negative, but nobody has any solutions to offer," he said.
In the letter this week to EndCap, MassDEP's Weinberg wrote, "Please be advised that should Albert Dumont and/or EndCap request future review of the proposal to cap Phase B of the [Attleboro] landfill, the department will consider the request and conduct its review in light of this public input and current conditions at the site, which may require that a revised proposal be submitted. A revised proposal would trigger further involvement by the affected communities."