Second email to the DEC, Town of Perinton and Senator Funke

The following is an email from Gary McNeil to the DEC, Town of Perinton and Senator Funke on January 4th, 2018. 


I'm sure you are all aware of the attached newsletter that WM sent out last night. At approximately 9pm on Tuesday 1/2/18 many residents experienced a 10-15 minute long event at their homes. The event consisted of vibrating, rattling, and shaking houses and walls. We experienced it ourselves, and took a video during the occurrence. At first we thought it was frozen pipes about to burst, and then we thought it was related to our furnace. It was pretty scary feeling, and lasted quite a long time. Once it passed (and nothing exploded in our house), a member of our FB group messaged me that her and her neighbors experienced the same phenomena, and she asked me if it could be related to the landfill. Keep in mind she lives on the south side of the landfill, and we live on the north side. Once we realized this event was not isolated to our house, we contacted our neighbors in Magnolia and they all reported the same experience. At that point we remembered some articles we came across when researching landfills that described a few landfills in the country causing tremors for miles due to flare/gas malfunctions. I still thought it was a reach, but figured I should follow up once my wife saw many people writing about the occurrence in the Fairport Families FB group. So the next morning I sent an email to both WM and the Egypt Fire Department. 

I have still yet to hear back directly from Jeff Richardson or the Egypt Fire Department, but WM confirmed our fears last night in their newsletter. Obviously this is quite a shock to the community. Not only are we dealing with 70% of our days filled with noxious gas odors (still), but now we have tremors that lasted almost 15 minutes. The reasons that are provided in the newsletter are laughable. WM is essentially saying that their infrastructure cannot handle the cold weather, just like it couldn't handle the rainy weather from the summer. One can conclude that the site is not able to operate in the Rochester climate at this point, at least not at the 3500 ton per day intake level that they achieved once the rail was implemented. 

We've had multiple people in our group contend that the tremors from Tuesday night were not the first time that happened. They are saying that it's happened a few times since the fall, mostly during the late morning hours. I cannot confirm what they are saying, but I have no reason to doubt them, especially since some of them are claiming guests and housekeepers brought it to their attention. If their stories are true, I urge you to pressure WM into confirming or denying their power plant and flare had issues over the last 6 months similar to what happened Tuesday evening, even if it was a lesser magnitude event. The community deserves to know, and I doubt they are going to respond to any inquiry I make.

Lastly, it seems more and more people are stepping forward with air quality concerns, especially after seeing the rail application from 2013 that Macedon sponsored, which indicated air quality would worsen due to increased intake, but would be offset by "proposed beneficial reuse". It's very obvious that the infrastructure could not handle going from 1500 tons per day to 3500 tons per day, which is what happened once the rail started operation. The additional gas created by the waste (and spurred by weather according to WM), is not manageable. The DEC should restrict intake to a more manageable level, immediately. When the flare is not working, those really harmful gasses are being released into the atmosphere, and all our families are breathing them in. It comes into our houses, schools, and businesses. Recent remediation efforts almost mirror verbatim the remediation efforts that took place in 2011 and 2012. Shouldn't "newer methods" of gas collection already be implemented proactively? Shouldn't this site have already been setup to handle the increased tonnage per day when the rail opened? We have been dealing with this since September. This community is not going to wait until May for resolution, especially with air quality concerns that are ongoing. 

We don't know whether to put our house up for sale and pull our kids out of their school, engage with local lawyers that are urging us to do so, wait for the DEC to actually act, or wait for the Town to possibly sue once the 6 month timeline is up. I don't like the feeling of knowing gasses are entering my house, and I don't like the feeling of my house shaking for 15 minutes due to tremors. The entire community shares these concerns. We moved back here in 2012 after 10 years in Tampa, primarily so our kids could enjoy the community benefits that we did while growing up. It's hard to believe a business could have this sort of impact on this town, and apparently enough leverage to get away with it.