Update: Casella Waste Systems plans to build an on-site facility to treat runoff from Coventry landfill of PFAS. To learn more, read Waste Dive's reporting. The following press release describes a permit that allows Casella to continue sending leachate to Montpelier wastewater treatment plant while the company develops its pretreatment facility.
At the end of December, the Vermont the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the issuance of the final Pretreatment Discharge permit by Watershed Management Division to Casella Waste for the continued authorization of the New England Waste Services of Vermont (NEWSVT) landfill in Coventry, Vermont to discharge (collect and transport) leachate to the Montpelier Wastewater Treatment Plant.
“We had a significant community input during the public comment period for this permit,” says DEC Commissioner John Beling. “We sincerely appreciate the engagement from the Coventry, Orleans County, and Lake Memphremagog watershed communities about their concerns related to NEWSVT.”
Leachate is generated from the decomposition of waste and precipitation coming into contact with the landfilled material. The water leaches out chemicals from the waste, including Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS).
The NEWSVT pretreatment discharge permit requires Casella Waste to develop a pilot system to reduce the amount of PFAS in the leachate. Upon submission of the design of the pilot system, there will be an amended permit that will include a public comment period to address the PFAS treatment system.
The pretreatment discharge permit is separate and distinct from DEC Solid Waste Management Facility Certification for the operation and expansion for NEWSVT. This permit is also not related to any treatment systems at groundwater underdrain discharges at NEWSVT.
Landfills and other systems of garbage disposal are a humbling consequence of our modern lives. The Agency, through DEC, is responsible for permitting and monitoring these systems to strike the balance between the necessity of waste management and the prevention and mitigation of negative environmental impacts.