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A landfill appeal?

Sturbridge BOH mulls permit action

July 20, 2010
STURBRIDGE — The Board of Health and Selectmen are seriously considering a Southbridge landfill permit appeal.

According to health board member John Degnan, who could not go into detail because of executive session rules, the two boards met Monday to discuss "whether we should or should not get a lawyer involved," because his board doesn't have legal representation of its own.

He noted the board did file the formal paperwork to start an appeal process before the June 25 deadline, although the minutes that are available on its webpage do not include a formal vote to do so. A few meetings are missing since January, but some of those available do have references to the issue.

"Mr. [Robert] Audet and Ms. [Linda] Cocalis stated concerns regarding the permit modification at the Southbridge landfill," the June 7 minutes state. "It was noted that the Agent and Town Administrator both wrote letters of opposition to DEP regarding the proposed landfill permit modification. The documents will be copied to the FAA, since they play an integral function in the regulatory authority of landfill siting."

DEP is the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection, which issued the landfill permit June 1. FAA is the Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates the neighboring Southbridge Airport and, among other things, has rules regarding how close landfills can be to airports. Neither Audet nor Cocalis (the chairman) returned messages seeking comment Tuesday evening.

To Southbridge Airport Commission Chairman George Chenier, the first notice of this appeal came from this reporter.

"I haven't heard anything from anybody," he admitted, noting Sturbridge officials have not asked for his board's input.

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

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