New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer and officials from the Public Safety Department have petitioned state regulators to deny Waste Management's request to raise the height limit of its landfill in a suburban New Castle County neighborhood.
A letter sent this week to DNREC follows an initial call in May by New Castle County Councilman Jea Street, State Representative Frank Cooke and Meyer for the permit to be denied and for residents to participate in a DNREC public hearing on the application.
The Waste Management DRPI Industrial Waste Landfill operates under an environmental permit that authorizes it to dump construction debris and other material up to a height of 130 feet. The company has asked state regulators to alter that permit and allow it to increase that height to 190 feet "“ a nearly 50 percent increase.
In the more recent letter, county officials cite the impact of the landfill on 741 public safety personnel who work at the county's Public Safety Headquarter, which sits immediately adjacent to the landfill on Route 13 in Minquadale. Staff are regularly impacted by foul odors from the landfill, along with dust and debris that are blown onto the facility from the trash deposited on-site.
It also expresses concern for the residential neighborhoods that sit in the shadow of the mound of trash and debris and for pedestrians and cyclists who use the popular Markell Trail, which runs along the western edge of the landfill property.
During DNREC's May 29 public hearing on the permit application, county officials also became aware of Artesian Water Company concerns about the landfill, which sits directly above an aquifer used for public drinking water for residents across New Castle County.
Additionally, County Councilman Jea Street has introduced county legislation, which is supported by the Meyer Administration, that would bar any landfill capped at 140 feet or less in height from seeking increases above that limit. Ordinance 19-046 would also create regulations in County law that require the impact on community health, safety, traffic and the environment be considered when landfill permits are filed.