The attorney for the firm selected to cap the Attleboro Landfill on Peckham Street said he was disappointed to read the comments submitted to the state Department of Environmental Protection on the project. He said he had hoped to find solutions among the comments, but only came across complaints.
"I haven't seen one yet that says, 'here's how to solve the problem,'" Nylen told Patch. "It reminds me of the presidential campaign—everything's negative, but nobody has any solutions to offer."
Nylen said he is hoping a solution will come from the government leaders in Attleboro and Norton, two of the three communities through which trucks carrying "slightly contaminated" material are proposed to move six days a week for up to four years to reach the landfill.
EndCap officials are responding to the comments and questions (which are attached to this article) that come from residents of Attleboro, Norton and other communities as well as current and former elected leaders and various organizations. The dedline to submit comments was Sept. 28. Nylen said he expects the firm will finish with its responses in the next week or two, and they will be submitted to the Massachusetts DEP.
Many of the comments are extremely critical of the plan.
"It is difficult to understand how the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection would even consider this plan," wrote Norton resident Elaine Stevens. "Is the word 'environmental' in the department's name an oxymoron? ... The negative impacts associated with this project are obvious and unacceptable to the residents of our communities."
EndCap, which specializes in soil/sediment management, has agreed to pay for the DEP-ordered capping of the landfill, a project the site's owner says he cannot afford to finish. To make it financially worthwhile for EndCap to do this, the firm plans to deliver an estimated 650,000 cubic yards of what has been called "slightly contaminated material" to the landfill via a route that touches on Taunton and goes through Norton and Attleboro.
The deliveries would take place Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The material would be used for shaping the landfill prior to capping and would come from clients that pay EndCap for the disposal.
"We would like to come up with a solution that would include a reduced amount of fill," Nylen said. "But there are many requirements to get through the process, then there is engineering, security. It gets to be a rather expensive endeavor, and that's what drives up the tonnage."
To compensate for the use of the roads in Attleboro and Norton, EndCap has offered to give the communities 25 cents per ton of material delivered (Taunton has not been offered compensation, but has requested it). No deal has been signed with Norton, but until recently there was one in effect with Attleboro. The 2009 agreement was criticized because, among other reasons, it was signed by Mayor Kevin Dumas with no public input. Few people appeared to know about its existence until recently.
Nylen confirmed with Patch that a letter he submitted last month to Dumas stating the firm was "willing to rescind" the agreement with Attleboro meant that it was rescinded. The language of the letter was not clear to some people.
"What we're saying is we'll negotiate with [Attleboro] on a good-faith basis," he said. "We'll rescind the agreement on a gesture of good faith, hoping someone is going to come up with a positive way to close this illegal landfill."
Nylen said EndCap would contact municipal officials about discussing solutions within the next couple weeks.