State Rep. Neal P. Goodman


Goodman blasts BRADS landfill approval

HARRISBURG, July 17 Ė State Rep. Neal P. Goodman blasted the state Department of Environmental Protection's decision to permit a recycling and demolition landfill in Blythe Township, saying it could harm a public drinking water supply and effectively wastes millions of tax dollars that have been used to restore that area's environment.


"The decision to issue this permit is an outrage and completely unacceptable," said Goodman, D-Schuylkill.† "In the Corbett administrationís first two years in office they have overturned eight years of hard work that demonstrated this site is a terrible location for a landfill. In their first six months in office they revived a landfill permit that had been for all purposes dead, and now they are blessing a new harms-versus-benefits analysis and giving the final go-ahead.


"For the life of me I canít understand how the benefits of this landfill suddenly outweigh the harms that were identified by DEP in earlier reviews," Goodman added. "Nothing has changed. The proposed site is still too close to a public drinking water source, the roads havenít been improved to withstand the weight of the increased truck traffic, and Blythe Township hasnít suddenly become flush with cash to be able to afford the clean-up and repair if this thing leaks."


The proposed site is 2,400 feet from Wolf Creek Reservoir, the drinking water source for Pottsville, Mechanicsville, Palo Alto, Port Carbon, Saint Clair and parts of Blythe, East Norwegian, New Castle and Norwegian townships.


Goodman said approval for the Blythe Recycling and Demolition Site Landfill comes shortly after DEP decided to invest $3.7 million to reclaim a 170-acre strip mine almost right across Burma Road from the location of the new landfill. He added that the federal government spent millions on reclamation efforts in the area to return the land to its pristine nature.


Shortly after hearing DEP was re-opening the application last year, Goodman and U.S. Rep. Tim Holden personally met with DEP Secretary Michael Krancer and they were promised to be kept up to date with new developments on the permit.


"Instead, we heard nothing at all," Goodman said. "All of these decisions were made behind closed doors. We learned of the approval through an email late Monday afternoon."


Goodman said he is writing a letter to Krancer demanding a public hearing so all issues with this project can be discussed publicly.


"The public has a right to see how the seven harms cited as the reason for denying the permit in 2009 have been adequately addressed," he said.


Holden shares Goodmanís views and is in the process of contacting the EPA to review this situation.


"As a Saint Clair resident, I can personally attest to what a bad idea this landfill is," Holden said. "The federal government has invested tens of millions of dollars reclaiming mines in the area. It makes no sense to suddenly put a landfill there."