Republic Services Appeals on Coffin Butte Landfill Expansion | Local

Republic Services withdrew its appeal of a conditional use license denied for the Coffin Butte landfill expansion, according to a Benton County news release.

The Benton County Board of Commissioners was advised Tuesday, March 15 that Valley Landfills Inc./Republic Services Inc. has withdrawn its appeal of the Refusal of the permit by the Planning Commission from Friday, March 11, according to the press release.

Republic Services intends to reapply for a revised landfill expansion project in the near future, according to a letter sent to the county. Company representatives could not immediately be reached for comment.

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The letter was dated March 11 and addressed to Inge Williams, an associate planner with the Benton County Community Development Department. It was sent by Ryan Lawler, president of the Republic Services region, who wrote that the decision to withdraw the appeal was made “after careful analysis and consideration of alternatives”.

“We will continue to engage with the community, listen and incorporate feedback,” Lawler wrote. “And we look forward to being part of Benton County’s long-term waste management and diversion solutions.”

Ahead of this latest development in the landfill expansion bid, appeal hearings were due to resume on Monday March 21, which marked the end of a 90-day recess requested by the Republic on December 21.

“Coffin Butte Landfill is an extremely important asset to our community,” County Commissioner Nancy Wyse said in a statement. “My fellow Commissioners and I were very pleased to hear that Republic is taking this opportunity to take more time to re-engage with our community to help chart a more constructive path for the future of solid waste. “

Planning commissioners found that Republic’s proposal would place an “undue burden” on the surrounding neighborhood and that Republic had failed to effectively respond to community questions about noise, odor, air quality and impacts on public health as well as effects on the environment and wildlife.

Republic challenged the Planning Commission’s findings, saying the evidence did not support the commission’s conclusion with respect to odor, air quality, or noise, and that the landfill remained in compliance with Oregon Department of Environmental Quality air permit regulations.

The company also argued that improvements to Robison and Tampico Roads will alleviate the Coffin Butte Road closure and that it would address wildlife impacts under its DEQ permit.

Denial

On December 7, the Benton County Planning Commission voted 6-0 to reject the candidacy for an expansion project in Coffin Butte. The rejection started the clock on a 14-day period during which appeals could be filed with the Board of Commissioners.

The Republic needed the Conditional Use Permit to extend the current storage cell south beyond the current Coffin Butte Road route, which would be closed. A new private road would circle the new disposal area and end at a locked gate at Soap Creek Road.

Republic also proposed to build a new road north that would connect the Soap Creek Road/Tampico Road area to Highway 99W via Robison Road in an effort to replace freeway access lost with the Coffin Butte Road closure. Residents would continue to have access to Highway 99W via Tampico Road.

The Phoenix-based company said it needed the expansion because the current landfill will reach capacity in about four years. The adjacent Knife River quarry will not be available to receive waste for perhaps another eight to ten years.

The quarry, Republic officials said, has a potential lifespan of 15 years. In total, Republic said, permit approval would add 30 years to the life of the landfill.

The denial of the request also set a clock ticking over the possible closure of Coffin Butte and the insertion of a massive question mark into the state landfill equation.

“It is highly unlikely that the state will approve a new landfill in the Willamette Valley,” Benton County Attorney Vance Croney previously said.

This means closing Coffin Butte would send all regional waste more than 200 miles to the massive waste management facility in Arlington along the Columbia River. The extra distance the trucks would have to travel would likely affect the rates.

Reaction

Corvallis resident Amy Luhn, a critic of the expansion plan, was delighted to hear the news.

“Oh well, we didn’t need something like that in our county,” she said.

Luhn, who has lived in the area for 30 years, said she was not against the development, but the expansion was not intended for Benton County residents, but to help Republic Service results. to serve a much larger area that goes beyond the state. lines.

“A quantum expansion of the discharge would not be an improvement for me,” she said.

Cody Mann covers Benton County and the towns of Corvallis and Philomath. He can be reached at 541-812-6113 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter via @News_Mann_.