Rich Howells

Friends of Lackawanna offers tools to fight Keystone Sanitary Landfill expansion

Friends of Lackawanna offers tools to fight Keystone Sanitary Landfill expansion
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Friends of Lackawanna, a Dunmore-based nonprofit organization formed by concerned citizens, is fighting the Keystone Sanitary Landfill’s proposed Phase III expansion, which, according to the group, “would create a mountain of trash almost as high as Montage Mountain and keep the landfill operational another 50 years.”

The above graphic, provided by Friends of Lackawanna, depicts just how high the landfill would climb as a result of the expansion.

They are asking residents to voice their opinions to their local and state representatives, providing their contact information on their website, and the group has also created a form to send a mass e-mail to all Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection representatives, along with the form letter below to copy and paste or help formulate a personal letter:

Friends of Lackawanna stock letter to the DEP:

I am writing to vehemently request that you follow the mission of DEP to protect Pennsylvania’s air, land and water from pollution and to provide for the health and safety of its citizens through a cleaner environment by opposing the permit for the Phase 3 expansion to the Keystone Sanitary Landfill in Dunmore and Throop, PA. If the DEP grants an approval, it would keep the landfill open another 47 years and create a mountain of trash in our valley that would be as high as the Moosic mountain range itself. Put simply, an expanded landfill does not belong in the middle of several thriving residential communities.

Here are some concerning facts:

  • This mega-landfill currently accepts over 7,200 tons of trash per day.
  • It is built over mines known for subsidence.
  • The Phase 3 permit application admits the landfill is leaking into our ground water.
  • It is only 450’ from the Dunmore Reservoir #1, our backup drinking water supply.
  • The run-off from the open sores of the Phase 3 trash mountain will not be treated and will be discharged directly into the Lackawanna River via Eddy’s Creek.
  • The landfill accepts fracking drill cuttings and drilling mud. The cuttings are mixed with small amounts of naturally occurring radioactive elements, particularly radium-226.
  • The percentage of Residual Waste (mildly treated hazardous waste) continues to increase.
  • High volume landfills (500 tons per day or more) decrease adjacent residential property values by 13.7% on average according to Richard C. Read in his article “Do Landfills Always Depress Nearby Property Values?” The bigger the landfill, the lower the home values
  • Foul smells waft over the area often and reach over 4 miles in radius.
  • Seagulls carrying disease and fracking contaminants coat our local lakes and reservoirs regularly.

And of most concern:

  • Studies have shown living near landfills can reduce immune system function and lead to increased risks of certain types of cancer, including bladder, brain and leukemia, among people who live near landfills. Further, a study by researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine also found that babies born to mothers who live near landfills have a significantly greater risk of birth defects.

Our area already has cancer rates higher than the national average. We cannot be exposed to any more risk. And this is not a case of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard). We have allowed the trash from NY and NJ into our backyard for decades. This is a case of enough! Simple as that.

As a citizen of the United States of America, I am calling on you to protect the people of Lackawanna County from an egregious landfill expansion that will affect the health and safety or our citizens, as well as the livability, desirability, marketability and national image of the greater Scranton area. Again, I vehemently request that you deny the expansion of Phase 3 of the Keystone Sanitary Landfill.

Friends of Lackawanna is also accepting donations here “to retain legal counsel and experts to stop the expansion of the Keystone Sanitary Landfill.”

  • jaybirdtime

    If industry standards allow for the creation of a Super fund site, then the Industry Standards need to change, that would be called commonsense. We bit the apple from the tree of knowledge, not the stupid tree, no such tree, it’s a figment of our thoughts. I checked with a Rabbi friend, he confirmed there is no stupid tree.
    John Walsh
    Founder of Occupy Wall Street
    A JESUS Movement
    Spiritual in Nature!
    Founded in Scranton PA, 2011