The Norridgewock Planning Board and representatives of Waste Management Disposal Services of Maine conduct an online public hearing Thursday night.

NORRIDGEWOCK — Some residents made clear Thursday night they are not keen on the proposal to expand the Crossroads Landfill in Norridgewock.

At an online meeting of the Norridgewock Planning Board, Waste Management Disposal Services of Maine reviewed the company’s site plan application and shoreland zoning application to expand the landfill — the second-largest landfill in the state — at 359 Mercer Road, off Route 2.

“Phase 14 will be a continuation of existing waste disposal activities,” said Scott Luettich of Geosyntec Consultants Inc., who made a presentation on behalf of Waste Management. “To be crystal clear, there will be no queuing of truck on Route 2.”

For more than 30 minutes, residents posted their questions. Topics included: What would go into the the landfill’s expanded area? What data is available from Waste Management? What are the potential health impacts of the expansion? And what will the expansion mean for the Mill Stream and surrounding environment.

“I want to know if ‘rock snot’ is coming back to Norridgewock,” resident Katherine Wilder asked, referring to an algae that can form in freshwater rivers and streams with consistently cold water temperatures and low nutrient levels.

At the end of the public hearing, Wilder said her questions were not addressed and given “boxed answers.”

Ed Anthony of Industry also wondered about the impact of the project on local water.

“How do we prevent, as a state, the chemicals that are in the leachate from eventually working their ways into people’s drinking waters and wells?” Anthony said. “I would like to know if Waste Management is in support of treating their leachate for ‘forever chemicals.'”

Luettich discussed leachate management and testing. The triple lining system is effective against leachate getting into the outside environment, he said.

Luettich also said the aquifer and groundwater around the site would undergo regular testing in dozens of locations three times a year. The locations would be selected in coordination with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

“It’s not like the leachate seeps into the ground,” Luettich said. “Liner systems used under the landfills are extremely effective.”

Leachate is brought to plants in Madison and Anson, where it is treated before being discharged into water.

“Leachate doesn’t get into the streams, but, nonetheless, Waste Management will test the streams,” Luettich said. “We’re going to provide confirmation that it shows the system has worked for years.”

A few members of the public called in with their support of Waste Management, citing the company’s history of accessibility within the community.

“I want to say ‘thank you’ to Waste Management, a business that cares about their community and employees more than anyone realizes,” said Derek Furbush, a Norridgewock resident and 14-year Waste Management employee.

A bulldozer is used in August 2018 to cap a section of the Crossroads Landfill, operated by Waste Management Disposal Services of Maine. Morning Sentinel file

The expansion plan, known as Phase 14, previously drew concern from some residents regarding air quality, groundwater protection, recycling and visibility.

The proposed expansion would not require major changes in infrastructure, according to Waste Management officials.

They said the liner systems, designed to last hundreds of years, would occupy 48.6 acres at the 933-acre landfill for textile diversion, hazardous materials and composting.

Related to the proposed expansion, Waste Management officials said they have conducted a sound test, which showed the decibel level would be below Maine DEP standards.

Waste Management also has odor management plans in place for both disposal operations and landfill gas. Phase 14 is fairly far from any roads, with the Airport Road the closest at 850 feet away.

“When we couple large setback distances with vegetation by Phase 14,” Luettich said. “Waste Management will maintain forest areas to maintain blocking the visual area of it.”

The Crossroads Landfill serves more than 50 communities. Without an expansion, officials have said, the landfill would reach capacity by 2024.

The Planning Board expects to review the company’s application at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25.

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