NHDES (NH Deceptive Environmental Sellouts)
collusion w/Casella is unacceptable
Video from NHDES of 5-hour long "information session": YouTube Link
September 25, 2021 Cal-Rec Article: Group Pushes State To Re-Include Full Wetlands Impact Of Landfill
Some of the latest letters and news reports:
InDepthNH: DES Attempts To Connect With Public: Link
Concord Monitor: My Turn: Knocking on DES' Door by Sarah Doucette 9/15/21
Bringing You Up To Speed: Cal-Rec LTE from Jon Swan 9/13/21
Conservation Law Foundation Letter To NHDES September 10, 2021
BCM Environmental Letter To NHDES 9/13/21
From InDepthNH: Casella Protesters: We're Not Going To Take It
Front Page, Union Leader: Protesters Urge State Regulators To Reject Permit For Dalton Landfill
Video of September 10, 2021 "Do The Right Thing, DES" Protest/Rally: Click Here
On August 26, 2021 NHDES wrote to wetlands permit applicant Casella Waste Systems, asking for an "amended" permit application, to be submitted at a later date, thereby circumventing RSA 482 -A:3 XIV(a)(5), which requires an approval or denial of the wetlands permit application, within 45 days following the closing of the record, which WAS scheduled for September 13, 2021.
From the notice of the extension of the public comment period:
"Prior to closing the public hearing, the Presiding Officer announced that, with the consent of the Applicant, the public comment period would be extended until September 13, 2021. Pursuant to RSA 482-A:3 XIV(a)(5), the Department will act on the application within 45 days following closure of the hearing record."
Per RSA 482-A:3 XIV(a)(5) Where the department has held a public hearing on an application filed under this chapter, within 45 days following the closure of the hearing record, approve the application in whole or in part, and issue a permit OR deny the application and issue written findings in support of the denial.
(NHDES is NOT going to do that now, due to their request for an amended application. We are owed a yes or no decision on the application as submitted!)
Please write to NHDES and demand that they follow the law and render a decision on the SUBMITTED and HEARD wetlands permit application, as per state RSA 482-A:3 XIV(a)(5), due by October 28, 2021.
You can send your comments to:
RE: NHDES File Number: 2020-02239
New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella's Email To Me and My Response April 3, 2021
(Is the AG's office covering for NHDES collusion with Casella?)
Blog Post: Collusion at NHDES (& NHDOJ)?
“we didn’t want to approve that full impact.”
“the department was not going to approve what the company deemed to be all three phases”
Quotes from Rene Pelletier of NHDES, Caledonian-Record 9/4/21
Caledonian-Record 9/4/21: State Requests That Casella Amend Landfill Wetlands Permit Application
InDepthNH News Report 8/31/21: State Seeks Amendment To Casella Wetlands Application
From New Hampshire Bulletin 9/1/21: Casella requests extension on Dalton landfill permitting process as opponents work on new bill
Also, please JOIN US at 2PM on Friday, September 10 for a PROTEST in front of the NHDES building at 29 Hazen Drive in Concord, NH. Please make a sign asking NHDES to do the right thing, follow the law, and issue a decision on the permit application in accordance with state RSA. There will be a short press conference at 2:30PM.
Video from protest: Click Here
Link to NHDES Letter to Casella, August 26: Click Here
Link to Casella Response Letter, August 27: Click Here
If permitted, this 2nd North Country landfill will have the following impacts (that we know of) on the environment, tourism, safety, and quality of life on a regional level:
Forest Lake Landfill Info Sheet: Click Here
To date, Casella has still NOT sought ANY local approvals for this project (zoning AND lot line)
Town of Dalton Select Board letter of July 6, 2021 to NHDES Wetlands Bureau, urging suspension of permit process until local approvals are met: Click Here
Town of Dalton Select Board letter of August 12, 2021 to NHDES Waste Management, clarifying local permitting status (Casella refuses to seek local approval): Click Here
CASELLA'S DESTRUCTIVE APPLICATION SHREDDED AT PUBLIC HEARING On July 14, 2021
Over 300 Attend Hearing, 150 Rally Before Hearing In Opposition To Wetlands Permit
North Country Residents Urge State To Deny Landfill Wetlands Permit
by Robert Blechl, Caledonian Record
"Citing wetlands scientist and Antioch University professor Rick Van de Poll, Tucker said Van de Poll characterizes the proposed project as “perhaps one of the worst potential environmental disasters in the Granite State in recent memory.” Van de Poll said no comprehensive wetlands evaluation or wildlife habitat impact studies have been completed and the project would permanently impact “seven times more wetlands than the failed Northern Pass proposal.”'
...To DES, Jon Swan, Dalton resident and founder of Save Forest Lake, said, “I’m a firm believer that a company’s past performance should serve as a precursor of things to come … Based on my findings, this applicant has been involved in 64 lawsuits, cited for 42 environmental and operational violations, paid over $9.25 million in fines and settlements, and has been involved in 16 accidents and deaths.”
Other News Reports:
Union Leader: Protest precedes hearing on wetlands permit for Dalton landfill
NH Bulletin Story: Public hearing on proposed Dalton landfill draws a crowd in opposition
NHPR Story: Protesters Rally Against Proposed Casella Landfill At Wetlands Permit Hearing In North Country
Boston Globe: As landfill space dwindles in Massachusetts, New Hampshire has become the state’s dumping ground
Coos Democrat: NHDES Urged To Reject Landfill Permit
Video of Public Hearing: https://youtu.be/G9qesGL0in4
Video of Rally: https://youtu.be/l-WjUX-HHjE
PDF Compilation of Casella Lawsuits, Violations, and Fines: Click Here
Links to the 397-page Wetlands Permit Application (Aug 2020) and other docs
(DES now has 2 different sites, for some reason):
Original: Link to docs
New: Link to docs
NHDES admits consulting with NH Attorney General about violating RSA 482-A:3 XIV(a)(5)
The above chart is a simple updating of the outdated capacity chart for "Unlimited Service Area" landfills in NH from page 8 of the 2019 legislative "Report of the Committee to Study Recycling Streams and Solid Waste Management in New Hampshire". Using the annual facility reports for 2019 and 2020 reveals that with both permitted and pending expansions, particularly at both the Turnkey and Mt Carberry landfills, NH has PLENTY of capacity, for NH-generated waste, thru 2034, 2041, 2049, and even beyond. As you can see, NH has an "out-of-state" waste problem.
The continued use of a false narrative, using the outdated 2019 legislative report, which does not take into consideration the permitted/pending expansions, simply highlights the reliance on deceptive messaging by the waste industry to promote the outdated practice of landfilling in order to further the continued exploitation of NH for the financial interests of the waste industry, and in particular, Casella. Casella wants another landfill in NH so as to continue the lucrative practice of importing out-of-state waste into our borders.
Simply put, NH does NOT need a new landfill, Casella does!
Link To 2nd chart, also detailing capacity numbers: Click Here
The AVRRDD Mt. Carberry Landfill just outside of Berlin, NH in the unincorporated Town of Success, NH in Coos Country
The Androscoggin Valley Regional Refuse Disposal District is the only solid waste district in the state that owns and operates its own commercial landfill
Since the Mt. Carberry Landfill is municipally-owned, they don't have a fleet of trucks hauling waste from outside of the North Country
When NCES closes and Casella is stopped in Dalton, there will not be any more of those dirty, ugly MBI trucks roaring thru the Notch!
The Phase III Expansion has not even begun, with permitted capacity life expectancy to last until 2049 and by working to reduce what we waste, we can protect precious landfill capacity for NH waste, not out-of-state!
December 10, 2019 News Article In Which Executive Director Sharon Gauthier discusses acceptance of waste from other North Country towns. Dalton made the switch in June, 2020 and saved money due to lower tipping fees!
Interview with Berlin Mayor and AVRRDD Board Member Paul Grenier discussing the closure of NCES and acceptance of North Country waste from a 2020 news article
When people ask "where is our trash going to go?" you can tell them to Mt. Carberry. it already exists, so the North Country does NOT need a NEW landfill at Forest Lake!
September 19, 2021 Save Forest Lake Press Release: NH OPLC Investigating Casella Engineer GAY
*Update: NHDES Cites Casella/NCES For Operating Deficiency – Leachate Release (May 1 - 3, 2021)
Link to 7/21/21 Letter: Click Here
More News Reports As NHDES Cites Casella For Deficiencies & Violations At NCES:
Cal-Rec: NHDES Administrative Order Issued For Permit Violations
InDepthNH: Bethlehem Landfill Cited for Operational Deficiencies
Cal-Rec: Casella Slapped With "Operational Deficiency" For Leachate Spill
NHPR: State Says Casella Fell Short On Preventing Major Landfill Leachate Spill
Link to NHDES Administrative Order For Permit Violations Due To Filling Outside Of Permitted Boundaries (7/16/21)
As reported by NHPR:
"The state is investigating what may be its largest-ever spill of leachate from a landfill –the North Country Environmental Services facility in Bethlehem, owned by Vermont waste company Casella.
The state says the incident began late on May 1, a Friday, and lasted until the following Monday.
Operators arrived to find that a leachate tank had been overflowing all weekend, spilling as much as 154,000 gallons of what’s often called “garbage juice.”' Link To Article
Follow up docs uploaded by NHDES to OneStop May 25, 2021, complete reports and photos, from NHDES are uploaded at the links below:
According to NHDES's Jaime Colby:
On May 3, NCES explained that
o UST (Underground storage tank) A and UST B are each approximately 30,000 gallons
o UST A pumps to UST B, until UST B is full; then UST B pumps to the AST (Above ground storage tank, approx. 150,0000 gal)
o When the AST, UST B, and UST A are full, a signal is sent to all facility pumps to stop pumping NCES thinks that sometime over the weekend, all the tanks filled and Stage 4, Phase II continued to pump to the tanks
o Stage 4, Phase II pump communication is via a wireless radio signal, while the other pumps at the facility are hardwired
o NCES stated that it has been having difficulty with the wireless radio signal, and had been troubleshooting it for several weeks
(NCES estimated 4 to 6 weeks), and that an electrician had been in the prior week (week of April 26) to replace a part; NCES stated that it was not aware that the issue had not been fixed by the work
o NCES estimated that 500-600 gallons of leachate were released, but wasn’t sure; generally estimated less than 1,000 gallons released
o NCES observed that it appeared the leachate rose in the tanks, overflowed into manways, and ultimately discharged into the storwmater pond through old infrastructure that is no longer used by NCES but that is still in place
Thursday, May 6, 2021
On May 6, 2021, I called Joe Gay at about 10:15 AM to schedule a site visit for Monday, May 10, 2021. I also requested that the incident report include the total capacity of the leachate system (e.g., storage tanks) and an explanation or discussion of why the tanks may have been near full before the weekend.
May 10 site visit report, with photos: https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/3a99e672-2796-498c-8250-9aae47365deb/downloads/May%2010%202021%20DES%20Site%20visit%20with%20pictures.pdf?ver=1621975339251
May 26-27 "Leachate Management Audit" Reveals 13 "Findings": Link To 7-Page Report
HB 177 Had Wild Ride Before Getting Out Of House
by Robert Blechl firstname.lastname@example.org 4/13/21
Short video from North Country Alliance For Balanced Change on the threat to Forest Lake State Park posed by Casella Waste Systems and their adjacent landfill development. Together, we can stop this! We NEED your help!
While answering a question from a caller during NHPR's The Exchange. #ProtectTheAmmo! #StopNorthernTrash! Thank you, Taylor Caswell!
AnnMarie Rigazio Tower of Whitefield and a few family members at their home on Forest Lake in Whitefield, NH discuss their family's experiences on the lake and how important it is to their family.
Video of the Forest Lake Boat Parade, July 4, 2020 at Forest Lake State Park in the lovely North Country of New Hampshire. It was a beautiful day, lots of great boat entries, some footage of the lake itself, and the crowded public beach at the Forest Lake State Park. All of this is under threat from a proposed 500+ acre landfill development adjacent to the state park and only 1/4 of a mile from the lake itself. What could possibly go wrong?
A sweet victory over Casella Waste Systems and its pro-landfill surrogates as the citizens of Dalton voted 154-129 to empower Dalton with Emergency Temporary Zoning in an effort to stop an unwanted, and unneeded, 1279 acre garbage landfill development next to Forest Lake State Park and only 2800 feet from the waters edge of Forest Lake. What could go wrong with that silly idea?
2 news segments, 6pm and 11pm July 23, 2019 from WMUR relative to the public hearing on Emergency Temporary Zoning in Dalton. An unpopular, but necessary effort to try and stop the proposed 1279 acre landfill development only 2800 feet from Forest Lake and175 feet from the State Park boundary.
Cal-Rec Story: Landfill Buffer Bill Finally Killed For Good
NH Bulletin: Lawmakers Scrap Landfill Buffer Bill
New Hampshire Landfill-State Parks Buffer Bill Back From Dead, Again
Link: Click Here
A SAD Day as N.H. Senate Votes Down Bill To Ban Landfills Near State Parks Link Here
HB177 was heard by the Senate "Energy and Natural Resources" committee on Monday, May 10. Over 50 people spoke, including 9 State Reps, and the committee admitted that they have received thousands of emails! The "sign in" sheet was 470 individuals signed in favor of the bill, 56 individuals signed in opposition, and 1 individual signed in as neutral. Our NH State Parks are major economic drivers and must be protected for future generations to also enjoy! #HB177
May 6, 2021 News Story In Cal-Rec: North Country Advocates Rally Senate Support For HB177
As you know by now, HB177 passed in the House on Friday, April 9, 2021, 197-159. This bill would create a 2-mile setback for siting a landfill next to a state park. Sadly, Covid killed it last year as HB1319 before it could reach the Senate. This year, despite the GOP-led Environment/Agriculture Committee voted along party lines that the legislation should go to the floor as ITL, inexpedient to legislate, a bi-partisan effort led to the overturn of the ITL and passed the bill!
Link to full record for HB177 in the House: Public Testimony
Casella's Kevin Roy shamelessly lobbies the Town of Plymouth Select Board for help to defeat HB177...and gets handed his hat! 5/10/21
Please join me in defense of Free Speech and Forest Lake as Casella Waste Systems seeks to silence my voice and this website in the exercise of our right to Free Speech and opposition to this terrible landfill development! Please, I hope you will add your voice to mine!
April 7, 2021 Caledonian-Record Story: SAU 36: School Board Hears Landfill Traffic Concerns
Feb 15, 2021 Caledonian-Record Story: "Proposed Landfill In Dalton Triggers Lawsuit Against State"
Feb 14, 2021 NHPR Story: "Lawsuit Aims To Block NH Landfill Permits Under Outdated Waste Plan"
Please write to NH DES and urge them to DENY the wetlands permit at:
News Story From the Caledonian-Record (Jan 14, 2021):
Also From The Caledonian-Record:
"Although Casella representatives previously told the public that the landfill would not be visible, Rennie said it appears the finished grades of the landfill will be higher in elevation than the land’s height toward Forest Lake and the state park, and visual and aesthetic impacts must be further assessed.
For the 397-acre state park and surrounding areas that the state says play a supporting role in regional recreation, DES is asking Casella to provide in greater detail whether impacts from the project could “eliminate, depreciate or obstruct the commerce, recreation or aesthetic enjoyment of the public” as outlined under state law.
It is also not clear how “the downstream high-value Alder Brook wetland complex and ultimately the Ammonoosuc River’s water quality will be protected if treatment of landfill runoff fails or if the landfill liners develop leaks over time,” said Rennie." Full story: Click Here
Meanwhile stonewalling on zoning application...Perhaps hoping HCA negotiations would provide credibility to NH DES for project while hoping for a zoning vote defeat in March?
"Considering factors of topography, natural resources, socio-economics, and safety, the LAC members in attendance were in accord that selection of the landfill location should be based on criteria related to the environmental and hazardous material management. It is recommended that the Dalton site selected for the new landfill does not appear to be a suitable location for multiple reasons. In addition, the Ammonoosuc River having been selected for two upstream landfill sites (existing landfill in Bethlehem and proposed site in Dalton) makes it seem like the responsibility has unduly been put on one river to carry the landfill burden, which is unfair to the downstream communities." Full Letter To NHDES
That's right, looks like 100 WB-67 Tractor Trailers will be rolling thru Whitefield!
One week after Casella Waste Systems made its formal offer of $71 million over 25 years to the town of Dalton in support for a landfill beside Forest Lake State Park, selectmen took their next step — looking into the zoning question.
Since July 2019, Dalton has had temporary emergency zoning (coming out a special town meeting in 2019 in response a possible landfill), and the Board of Selectmen on Wednesday voted 3-0 to enlist the town attorney to look into the zoning application process.
Representatives of Casella Waste Systems on Monday made their formal money offer to the town - one they said includes homeowner compensation for any devalued properties - in return for the town’s support of a landfill beside Forest Lake State Park.
The company’s engineer also said permits are now being filed. The state wetlands permit application for the privately owned commercial landfill, which, if approved, would be called the Granite State Landfill, was expected to be filed Tuesday, Sept. 1, said Casella engineer Joe Gay.
Although no application has been submitted by Casella Waste Systems for its proposed landfill in Dalton, an official with the state environmental services department said two applications for needed permits for the project could be submitted this month.
That comes out of a July 23 remote meeting that state Rep. Andrew Bouldin, D-Manchester, at the request of several North Country residents, scheduled with representatives of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, whose solid waste management director, Mike Wimsatt, fielded two dozen questions from area residents about the status of the company’s plans in Dalton and Bethlehem.
Please Help Us To Stop The Landfill!
Some history on the Casella operated, state-owned Juniper Ridge Landfill. Video: Out of State Trash into JRL and Leachate into Penobscot River
The Casella-run JRL has raised the ire and scrutiny of local landfill opponents and community members for nearly two decades. Community members across Maine have tried repeatedly to show that state waste rules are not protective of environmental and human health, with leachate being processed and dumped into the Penobscot River.
Some history on the Casella Hardwick Landfill in Hardwick, MA. Note the impact on the town, which appears to be very similar to both Dalton and Whitefield, NH. Is this our future? We can work together to STOP this from happening to Dalton, Whitefield, and the North Country. #DevastatingImpact
"Now U Know', an engaging and revealing 2009 documentary about the Southbridge Landfill expansion, explores how and why a dangerous landfill expansion proposed by Casella Waste Systems, Inc. was approved by the local Board of Health despite overwhelming public opposition. The film demonstrates that not only can a landfill of that size not be made safe, but it shows that residents do not trust Casella Waste to protect their health.
CEO John Casella receives a green business innovator award from Vermont Law School despite trail of environmental disasters throughout New England created by Casella Waste Systems. #GreenWashing101
News story from 2010 where The Maine Supreme Court has ruled that private citizens can sue Maine Energy Recovery Company in Biddeford, owned and operated by Casella Waste Systems. Casella eventually sold it to Biddeford and MERC was closed for good. #Nuisance
Share YOUR Thoughts with NHDES:
Mike Wimsatt, DES Waste Management Director, is the ultimate decision maker relative to signing off on the landfill permit!
You can say hello to him at: email@example.com
It’s up to all of us to safeguard our environment!
PLEASE WRITE TO DES, YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPERS, AND TOWN SELECT BOARDS
AS THIS WILL IMPACT ALL OF THE NORTH COUNTRY!!
Let us know if you want a yard sign!!
Email Jon at SaveForestLake@yahoo.com
Is Dalton, NH next? Let's hope not!
"I have seen the name of Southbridge, MA in connection with Casella Waste Management - but I never fully appreciated how much The Town of Bethlehem has in common with The Town of Southbridge. A few seconds of research on the Internet revealed several news articles. The one that quickly caught my attention was in the June 2017 Telegram & Gazette (telegram.com). The article details a lawsuit filed against Casella by two environmental groups and says: “The suit alleges the Southbridge landfill has been releasing toxic pollutants to groundwater for years...”
In the overview, the state director of one of the environmental groups, said Casella consistently employs "sneaky and aggressive strategies" to bully towns and expand their profits. She continued, "Casella's business strategy pattern is to enter communities with an existing trash facility and expand, expand, expand, while trying to disregard local officials and concerned residents."
If this was not hard enough to read and so familiar, the comments by a resident affected by the pollution were just as meaningful: "When you think about how long this has been going on and the fact that Casella is still seeking to expand...It boggles my min...To me, it's proof that they are willing to put profit before people."
Herein is the strongest connection between Southbridge and Bethlehem. That the Casella corporation is described in this article in ways we in Bethlehem have already experienced should be a rude awakening for anyone “on the fence” about this company and make everyone aware of their relentlessly aggressive attempts to convince us to permit them to EXPAND the NCES landfill from 61 to 161 acres, another 100 acres for a mega-dump!
The Casella corporation has some in town believing that a landfill expansion will save us from financial ruin. The fact is our property taxes have already risen – despite Casella dumping TONS of trash from multiple STATES here for YEARS!
That same article about Southbridge describes how contaminants – one a “probable human carcinogen 1,4-dioxane” – have been discovered in “drinking water aquifers and residential drinking wells.” Casella denies responsibility, of course, but another article (February 2017) reported that the Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection “named Casella as the potential responsible party and directed the company to supply bottled water or whole-house filtration systems to the affected homes.”
Bethlehem has spent tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees FIGHTING Casella over the past 20 years and we continue to add legal fees to the budget because of Casella, most recently because they may file for an abatement to decrease their taxes. These legal fees increase our property taxes.
The NCES landfill is on Trudeau Road in Bethlehem, but during the day the mound of trash can easily be seen from Route 302 in both directions, and at night you can see the flame from the torch burning off the gases being released from the trash. This eye sore is a heartbreaking blemish on the beautiful backdrop of our White Mountains!
The Southbridge landfill and its history goes back to before Casella became involved, but once they were – their business model only added to the woes that face this town today – and what could very well be the future of the NCES/Casella landfill here.
We must say no to any future landfill expansions."
Nancy Dickowski, Bethlehem
(THANKS to Build A Better Bethlehem for allowing us to use Nancy's commentary! )
To read even more warnings from Bethlehem and Southbridge residents, click here.
More info is uploaded in our "Files" section as there is so much data about this company
Casella Attorney Tries To To Open Up Back Room Talks With Dalton: Selectboard Says NO
Mainers try to close loophole on out of state waste: Casella has long taken advantage of
Casella's Controversial History in Hardwick, MA: 23 Minute Video Details Dramatic Impact on town
A not so flattering look at Casella Waste Systems in Bethlehem, NH: 2009 YouTube Video John Casella Gets Green Award And Questioned About Bethlehem
From 2005, A Detailed Report On Controversial Casella: Coming To A Community Near You?
Casella's controversial history in Maine: I would rather shake hands with a rattlesnake
Casella tries to take advantage of Covid-19 crisis in VT: Seeks Delay Of July 1 Food Waste Ban
More bad news for Casella-operated landfill in the Finger Lakes of New York state:
Class-Action Lawsuit Filed By Over 1000 Plaintiffs In NY v Casella Over Odor, Declining Property Values
High readings for PFAS found in Montpelier and Newport VT wastewater plants:
Video of Casella CEO John Casella at Jan 2020 Newport Meeting on landfill leachate:
Casella’s interest is their bottom line, not their community:
Casella CEO John Casella Wants To Give Town of Dalton $50K-$100K:
Coventry, VT Landfill Tanker Crash Causes Contaminant Spill
Casella Greed On Full Display At Hakes NY Landfill:
Casella Bypasses Maine Law Prohibiting Out Of State Trash:
Casella CASHING IN On Recycling Crisis It Helped To Create (Westbrook, ME Story)
Casella in Potsdam, NY: Waste Stream Inc. SuperFund Site Remediation (Tax Abatement Sought):
Here's Another Website Dedicated To Casella's Bad Reputation: Click Here
Oh, but wait, here's another! Warnings from Bethlehem and Southbridge residents about Casella
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