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Communities in Action
Bristol, VT: Landfill Expansion: Residents work to prevent risky landfill expansion
This past summer, Bristol, Vt., residents learned that their unlined landfill next to the high school had four violations from the Agency of Natural Resources. The Environmental Protection Agency says that even with state-of-the-art liners, all landfills will eventually leak, and unlined landfills are even more of a threat to groundwater resources. Soon after, the town announced the landfill would close. Unfortunately, they only had half of the estimated cost of properly capping the landfill. To make up the difference, officials hatched a plan with waste company Casella to fill up the landfill before it closes in December 2016, in exchange for the capping costs. This would mean changing the landfill’s permit to accept 30 to 300 times more trash than is dumped in a typical year, further endangering the aquifer that supplies drinking water for Addison County. Toxics Action Center’s Shaina Kasper worked with local resident Sally Burrell and her neighbors to research alternative funding sources, garner media attention and build their group. Although the effort is far from over, it’s looking more and more like the deal with Casella is off.
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