New Milford Township tables incinerator ordinance adoption

A county resident voices his support for the waste incinerator ordinance proposed by New Milford Twp. PHOTO BY PAT FARNELLI

A county resident voices his support for the waste incinerator ordinance proposed by New Milford Twp. PHOTO BY PAT FARNELLI

Although developer Tyler Corners Group backed away in November from its preliminary plans to build an industrial park with a hazardous waste incinerator in New Milford Twp., the township is moving forward toward adopting an ordinance that would regulate incinerators.

New Milford Township supervisors, along with legal counsel, held a special meeting Thursday, Jan. 12, to allow the public to comment on a proposed ordinance to regulate waste incinerators.

Despite public support for the proposed ordinance and on advice from their solicitor, the supervisors tabled its adoption pending review and possible amendment, if needed.

The proposed ordinance states as its purpose and intent: “…to provide environmental protection to the citizens of the township for air pollution emissions associated with waste incinerators.”

The ordinance imposes air emissions limits, a human health risk assessment requirement, and continuous emissions monitoring requirements for waste incinerators, to ensure that public health is protected to the greatest degree possible and to exercise the authority under the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act.

An attorney from Liberty Environmental Consultants, Gavin L. Biebuyck, said, “This is specifically an incinerator related ordinance, not a general air pollution ordinance, if it was for air pollution in general it would be 200 pages long.”

He noted that while it’s true that he is not aware of every air quality ordinance in the country, to the best of his knowledge this ordinance is more stringent than any in Pennsylvania, or elsewhere in the United States.

The township hired Liberty Environmental as consultants in their efforts to draft an ordinance.

After an introduction by township attorneys, the floor was opened to public comment. The first speaker, Jake Rosen, an activist with Susquehanna Clean Air Network (SCAN), said that he had sent 22 pages of comments about proposed ordinance to the township office.

“We would like to compliment you on your efforts, we would like to support you with your efforts,” he said.

New Milford Township resident Jaelynne Goff said, “I want to thank the supervisors for taking this amazing ordinance seriously. I think it has already started working, whether it is passed now or in several weeks from now.”

Susan Pipitone thanked the supervisors for “stepping up to the plate.”

“It was bounced back and forth who had the responsibility for this.  I hope the county commissioners take this lesson and hopefully use this that you have developed, and possibly put this into the whole county. The incinerator, if it is kept out of New Milford Twp,, what’s to stop it from going to another township, like Lenox? We’ve worked with officials from many communities,” she said.

Herrick Twp. Supervisor Elliot Ross, “I want to thank the township supervisors. I don’t think many supervisors or borough councilmen wound have had the gumption you have shown, and I applaud you vociferously. I am part of the SCAN operation, and as a citizen of this county, I feel a huge burden off my shoulders, not to have to consider moving somewhere else.”


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