Leachate Truck Accident

To the Editor:

On the morning of December 27th, 2019, we learned that a fully-loaded 8000 gallon MBI leachate truck leaving the Casella Waste Systems landfill in Coventry, VT, before 3am in icy conditions, was involved in an accident with another garbage tractor trailer near the Black River, surely outside of the permitted hours of operation for the landfill. This terrible environmental accident is YET ANOTHER example of Casella Waste system’s poor management of YET ANOTHER of their landfills in recent months. We just learned of violations earlier this year at the Bethlehem landfill for inadequate ground cover (DES site visit 8/15/19), as reported by the Caledonian. Do we want MORE of this for the North Country?

Are we to take Casella Waste Systems at their word that their proposed, “state-of-the-art” landfill at Forest Lake would be highly engineered and highly regulated, and would not contaminate the lake, as Casella Waste Systems maintained in their “Dalton Facts” literature sent to Dalton voters this past summer? (see their literature on the front page of the SFL website for yourself). This is just one more reason why we feel a landfill at Forest Lake is a terrible idea, from a terrible company with a terrible performance record, at a terrible location, and doing so puts not only the environment that we all love and enjoy at great risk, but the inhabitants of Whitefield and Dalton as well, since 90 garbage haulers and leachate trucks are estimated to travel to and from the proposed site at Chick’s Sand and Gravel on Route 116 thru the town center of Whitefield. No thanks!

We simply cannot trust Casella Waste Systems and their corporate-speak as they call themselves “stewards of the environment” while their performance record speaks to the contrary. We do not want to be partners with a company that misleads people, as they tried to do to influence the zoning vote this summer in Dalton, or even their very sneaky, failed “lot-line adjustment” request to the Town of Dalton Planning Board on April 3, 2019. They even stated on WMUR that they would “improve the lake”! This company, as we’ve learned from their dealings in Bethlehem, simply cannot be taken at their word and should be judged more so on their performance. We do not want a landfill at Forest Lake and it’s up to all of us to fight back, to speak up, and to protect our home in the North Country from this threat to our environment and our way of life.

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