Public hearing on landfill Thursday

Published 9:30 pm Monday, March 28, 2011

Suffolk residents will have the chance to comment on a proposed addition to the regional landfill in a public hearing Thursday.

The meeting is scheduled from 7 to 10 p.m. at Nansemond River High School, 3301 Nansemond Parkway. People who cannot attend also can submit comments by email, fax or postal mail through April 15.

The Southeastern Public Service Authority hopes to expand the regional landfill by another 56 acres of disposal area known as Cell 7. The authority also is asking for an exception to state requirements to allow for an alternate liner for Cell 7 and for a variance in groundwater protection standards.

Email newsletter signup

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality director has decided tentatively to approve the request, according to a public notice on the department’s website.

The move comes even as some board members are considering selling or closing the regional landfill.

“It’s something that everybody has thought about,” said SPSA executive director Rowland Taylor after a meeting last month where board members discussed the possibility of doing away with the landfill.

The landfill has been losing money since last spring, when Wheelabrator took over the waste-to-energy plant in Portsmouth. As a part of that agreement, all waste that can be burned is taken to that facility. As a result, the Suffolk landfill is accepting mostly construction and demolition debris.

Last month, the SPSA board approved a slate of changes intended to save money, including a handful of layoffs and fewer hours.

The additional space at the landfill would bring the total trash disposal area to 244 acres. The landfill takes up a total of 833 acres off U.S. Route 58.

To comment in some way other than at the meeting, include your name, address and telephone number and email comments to, fax comments to 757-518-2003 or mail comments to Milton Johnson, Tidewater Regional Office, 5636 Southern Blvd., Virginia Beach, VA 23462.