By Nathan Mayberg
MONTICELLO February 8, 2005 The future of the Sullivan County Landfill turned increasingly bleak last week as it was announced the Regional Office of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation would hold up its issuance of a permit for Cell 6 by four months.
That statement compounds the countys ability to obtain permission to expand its landfill operations, since the regional office had been generally supportive of the countys quest for a permit.
Until now, the countys main obstacle, aside from the environmental group SPECS which passionately opposed the expansion, had lay with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Administrative Law Judge Edward Buhrmaster and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commission Erin Crotty.
Buhrmaster responded to an outcry of opposition to the landfill last year by scheduling several issues conferences, which effectively delayed any decision to over a year now.
The decision to issue a permit had been left up to the commissioner in recent months, who had never ruled on it. She has since stepped down. She was replaced last week by Acting Commissioner Denise Sheehan, which could delay the process even longer.
Since the county expects to run out of space at the landfill by the end of the year, it would not have enough time to construct Cell 6, according to county legislators and other officials.
Therefore, as Democratic Majority Leader Kathleen LaBuda said, it is time for the county to plan for the worst and think about exportation.
Or as Legislator Leni Binder said, for the towns to consider exportation.
Legislature Chairman Chris Cunningham stated that no Cell 6 would mean no Phase 2 (a much larger expansion).
In other business at the legislative meetings on Thursday, the Financial Management Committee passed a number of spending resolutions, including:
$482,645 for Cornell Cooperative Extension
$475,000 for Sullivan County Legal Aid
$107,121 for Sullivan County Soil & Water Conservation
$34,000 for Sullivan County Head Start
$30,000 for the Community Action Commission to Help the Economy
$25,000 for the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance
$21,000 for the Federation of Sportsmens Clubs of Sullivan County
$20,000 to the Catskill Association of Tourism Services
$20,000 to the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce
$10,000 for the Eagle Institute
$10,000 for Sullivan First
$5,000 for Sullivan Performing Arts