Landfill expansion approved

Published 11:19 pm Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has issued a permit to expand the regional landfill in Suffolk, despite the objections of dozens of nearby residents who opposed the project during the public hearing process.

About 50 people attended an April meeting at Nansemond River High School on the expansion. Of those, 13 spoke out against the project. Many others commented on the expansion by fax, email and postal mail.

The Southeastern Public Service Authority, which owns and operates the landfill near the intersection of U.S. Route 58 and Nansemond Parkway, applied for the permit for the expansion even though it does not yet know if it will need the additional space. The authority simply wants to be ready in case it needs the extra disposal area, referred to as Cell 7, executive director Rowland Taylor said.

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The DEQ is requiring the authority to take a number of steps intended to control odor. The agency must study the feasibility of other methods of apply odor neutralizer, as opposed to the current method of applying directly to the ground. It also must submit quarterly reports to DEQ on each odor complaint received, including the corrective action that was taken.

The authority must also continue the odor-reduction efforts it has been doing for the past year and a half, including using a smaller space to dump trash and covering it with more material.

“Those are the ones we’re really focusing in on,” Taylor said of the odor-reduction requirements.

City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn pledged to keep the authority on its toes.

“We just need to make sure we review what’s been submitted from the state,” she said after Wednesday’s meeting of the SPSA board of directors. “We’re going to have to do some due diligence. We’ll certainly monitor that on behalf of our citizens.”