THROOP -- Speaker after speaker went before representatives from the state Department of Environmental Protection to voice their feelings about a proposed expansion of the Keystone Sanitary Landfill.
“I implore you to deny this expansion, to choose the hard right over the easy wrong,” said Katharine Spanish from Dunmore.
“Please, I implore you to deny this expansion. Enough is enough. Thank you,” said Vince Amato from Dunmore.
The landfill is seeking permission from DEP to expand its facility vertically by filling in the gaps in between existing piles of garbage.
DEP has held a series of hearings to take public comment and the meeting at Mid-Valley High School in Throop is its last before DEP makes a decision on Keystone's request.
But there is strong opposition by a grassroots effort called Friends of Lackawanna. Many of the members came wearing green t-shirts sporting their group’s name.
“Do we want to completely destroy the next generation?” asked Mandy Boyanoski of Dunmore. “It is so sad that our concern is instant gratification. The rationale that this is good for the economy is bogus.”
“The risks this facility poses to people living in the surrounding communities of Dunmore and Throop,” said Amato. “The residents of this community have endured this landfill and the pollution that it generates for many years, enough is enough.”
Keystone's owner Louis DeNaples sat through the overwhelmingly negative comments to the expansion.
Keystone's argument is that the landfill is running out of space.
If it could expand, that would extend its life by roughly 50 years.
“I have a 5-month-old daughter,” said Jeff Boyanoski. “I just did the quick math. If you actually grant this extension for 50 years, there is a realistic chance she will be a grandmother before this landfill closes.”
While Monday night’s meeting was the last for public comment, DEP is still collecting written comments by mail or email until July 29.