Norton residents sounded off against the plan to cap the Attleboro Landfill at a public hearing Tuesday night.
According to a document supplied by EndCap Technology, the company teaming up with Attleboro Landfill Inc. to complete the project, the city of Attleboro operated the 55-acre dump owned by the Dumont Family in the 1940s through 1975. Later that year, Attleboro Landfill Inc. used a portion of the property and ceased landfill activity in 1994. Though the company capped this land in accordance to Department of Environmental Protection regulations, 23 acres known as Phase B still requires proper closure.
The required closure and post closure work that Attleboro Landfill is expected to do will cost approximately $3.5 million.
"There were no financial insurance requirements for landfills when ALI began operating back in the 70s," said Michelle O'Brien who represents Attleboro Landfill Inc. "Therefore, ALI does not have the money set aside to complete the closure and post closure over the following 30 years. ALI also does not have the capability of posting the financial security that is required for the closure and post closure work."
The site, which is adjacent to the former Shpack property on Peckham Street, is currently classified as an illegal landfill by the Department of Environmental Protection because it was never capped. The owners of the property, the Dumont family, are now trying to comply with state regulations by hiring EndCap Technologies to seal the waste in a layer of materials and a protective membrane. If the site is not properly closed off, the groundwater could potentially become contaminated.
The site will require 30 years of maintenance after proper closure. The regulations also require financial security such as a bond for the closure and post closure activities at the landfill.
"ALI needs the collaboration and the resources of EndCap to complete this required closure of the Phase B area and to generate sufficient funds to secure the long term maintenance and monitoring of the Attleboro landfill," O’Brien said.
The conceptual plan by EndCap estimates that about 650,000 cubic yards of construction and demolition debris will make up the layer below the membrane.
The material includes soil with low levels of contamination.
"It's not suitable for use in residential development," said Lewis Conley of EndCap. "You would it in your backyard, you wouldn't want to plant your vegetables in it. But we put it in a confined area, put a cap on it and protect the environment.”
The project will bring about 35 trucks a day to the site from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday for about three years. This translates to about four or five trucks an hour. They will travel from the Bay Street exit off of Route 495 in Taunton, going through Myles Standish Boulevard, Eddy Street, John Scott Boulevard, S. Worcester Street and Union Road. Trucks leaving the facility will follow Peckham Street, Pike Avenue, Route 123, Starkey Street, Holden Street, Main Street, Robert Toner Boulevard and 95 North.
The proposal has been brought before Norton to close the site several times, but were rejected due to economical issues.
"Norton has rejected this same proposal three times now," said Norton resident to EndCap Technology representatives. "What is it about 'no' you do not get?"
Norton Selectman Robert Kimball noted that the area has changed since the project was last proposed.
"I would like all of you to consider taking another look at the route being proposed because to be honest with you, that neighborhood has been put through a number of years of Shpack, trucks and all the noise and dust and everything that goes with it," he said. "I think you’re going to see that the Town of Norton probably isn’t going to back off on this."
He continued, "If it's going to be capped, I think the city of Attleboro should be able to bear the brunt of the traffic and the town of Norton should not have to deal with that at all."
Attleboro City Councilor Walter Thibodeau, who was present at the hearing, gave EndCap a proposal suggesting the use of a nearby railroad to move the materials.
"I think it really needs to be considered seriously," he said. "There should be no trucks on the road whatsoever to bother any communities or any of the residents."
EndCap attorney Richard Nylen said the company would reevaluate the cost effectiveness of using the railroad.
State Rep. Betty Poirier said, "As a representative of the people for both communities, if this is not acceptable to the people who are here this evening who represent the greater population, then I would say your department should not allow this project to go through without the approval of the people who are going to live with it for four years."
Residents have until Sept. 4 to submit comments about the project to EndCap representative Kurt Schulte at firstname.lastname@example.org.