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Landfill oversight board created

April 20, 2010
the Board of Health's landfill decision called for creation of a Landfill Oversight Committee.

Last week, the board finally got around to creating that committee, appointing Ann Fenwick-Beinema and Rene Tremblay as its representatives. With Airport Manager James Latour automatically a member, that leaves five seats to fill.

"It's taken too long, to be honest, but I understand how the process works and there have been more pressing issues," said George Chenier, chairman of the Airport Commission, which will probably appoint its representative tomorrow.

Under condition 58 of the June 2008 site assignment decision, the committee also needs two citizens and one representative of the Conservation Commission. The group is supposed to meet quarterly, "or as needed," to review issues including monthly reports Casella is required to submit covering bird and environmental issues, tonnages, truck traffic and any proposed changes.

Such a committee "is clearly a step in the right direction," according to George Criner, the citizen member of the three-person committee overseeing the Pine Tree Landfill in Hampden, Maine, from 2001 to 2006.

He said the committee was "set up to help find resolution if anything contentious came up." In general, the panel saw "long periods of time with very little activity" interspersed with "very intensive activity during periods of expansion and permitting," Criner said.

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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