As you now know, at its meeting on December 15th, the Westchester Solid Waste Commission (WSWC) voted to grant Northeast Interstate Railway (NIR) a Class A license to operate in the county. The meeting was attended by all the Commissioners, Executive Director Bruce Berger, Deputy Executive Director Lou Petrone as well as various staff members. Village Attorney Marianne Stecich represented the Village at the meeting which was also attended by Village Manager Herbek, Mayor Schmidt, Trustee Kane and myself. Andreas Gruson, Chairman of NIR, attended as did several representatives of Allied Waste. The following is a brief summary of the meeting.
Chairman McShane reviewed the history of the application and the reasons for the prior two adjournments. He explained that at the last meeting it was agreed that the adjournment would give the Village time to provide further information about the Sunny Farms Landfill in Ohio which is operated by Regus Industries – the parent company of NIR. At the same time, the WSWC was to do their own follow up by communicating with the Ohio EPA.
Chairman McShane indicated that the WSWC had received more information including a letter and supporting documents from Ms. Stecich and he had gone through each of the documents. He said they provided a basis for the conversation he and Commissioner Bellfiore had with the Ohio EPA Commissioner, Dan Harris. Mr. Harris explained to them how violations are handled in Ohio and reviewed the violations that occurred at Sunny Farms. As a result of the conversation, Mr. McShane said he felt that at Sunny Farms, the operator had a history of being responsive to violations and that there was continued dialogue between the Ohio EPA and the operator.
Mr. Petrone stated that he had gone through all the documents they received from the Ohio EPA as well as those from the Village attorney and had written the memo that all the WSWC members had received. (It was not made available but Mr. McShane said it would be included in the record of the meeting.) Mr. Berger noted that the Seneca County Commission, where Sunny Farms is located, had renewed their license on December 7th based on being in substantial compliance with Ohio regulations.
Commissioner Larry Schwartz asked the other members if they were comfortable that they had done their job in reviewing this application thoroughly. They agreed they had. Mr. McShane called for a vote on his motion to grant the license to NIR on the condition the applicant accept an environmental monitor to oversee the operations. The vote was unanimous.
In the next order of business, the WSWC approved the sale of Allied assets in Westchester, Croton, Mamaroneck and Mt. Kisco, to RS Acquisitions and NIR.