On December 20, 2018, FAFE legal counsel, Knauf Shaw LLP, submitted a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to view draft documents of the Host Community Agreement (HCA) with Waste Management’s High Acres landfill. However, the Perinton Town Board (PTB) was quick to deny the request stating that it is “premature”, as the Town has yet to complete its internal evaluation of its draft agreement.
The FOIL submitted to the PTB requested information on the current draft of HCA, in an effort to ensure community involvement before the new benefit agreement is sent to WMNY, stating:
“The citizens of the Town have been berated by nuisance odors, excessive noise, new vector impacts, etc., emanating from High Acres, which have substantially increased in the last two years associated with the increase of NYC waste to the landfill via train shipments and due to negligent operational decisions, which have resulted in a dysfunctional gas management system.
The Benefit Agreement previously entered into by the Town provided no protection for local citizens, and no real value to the Town. This new Benefit Agreement is of the utmost importance, and the public has the right to review it and provide comments before the Town sends it to WMNY.
Knauf Shaw alerted the PTB that they plan to continue to FOIL HCA documents to ensure the public is made aware of the final HCA draft the moment it has been created. The letter continues;
In fact, the Town Board must approve, at a public hearing, the Benefit Agreement before it is sent to WMNY, pursuant to Town Law, Article 4. We look forward to receiving notice of the public hearing on this matter.
Despite these developments, FAFE remains hopeful the Town will decide to involve the community, and willingly produce the agreement before sending it to WMNY.
So, what is the point of this agreement in the first place?
The HCA defines exactly how the community will benefit from the landfill.
What happens until a new agreement is in place?
Until a new agreement is reached, the Town and WMNY will continue to operate under the original agreement that was set to expire in December of 2018.
UPDATE: 01/25/2019 - The Town has responded that the community will be provided with a copy of the draft agreement at the same time the correspondence is sent to Waste Management. Read the full correspondence here.