Act 250

DUMP launches a petition drive to designate Lake Memphremagog a “Lake in Crisis”.  Read our petition.

The landfill is adversely affecting our beautiful Northeast Kingdom!!  Sadly, both the Agency of Natural Resources, and the Act 250 District Commission approved the 51 acre expansion of the landfill to now cover 128 acres.

International Summit held by DUMP

In January of 2020 DUMP hosted a summit with legislators from the State of Vermont and from Quebec, Canada, to discuss concerns about the landfill in Coventry.  View the data summary presentation Data Summary for Summit 20200113    View the NEK TV coverage!

DUMP appeals ANR permit

We worked hard in our attempt to appeal the ruling of the Agency of Natural Resources, and although we did not get the appeal, we did negotiate a settlement through Mediation with the management of the Landfill to protect the Memphremagog Watershed and Lake Memphremagog from toxic landfill leachate until January of 2024.

Read the result of our recent Mediation with the landfill representatives in this joint press release.

While we are comforted that the processed toxic leachate will no longer flow into Lake Memphremagog (for now), we are concerned about other bodies of water that are affected.   Help us convince the State of Vermont to find a better way to handle trash.

DUMP participates in Act hearing to oppose the Act 250 landfill expansion permit

Our expressed opposition to the expansion was strong and fact based.

Click to read DUMP’s ACT250 Testimony
Click to read DUMP’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

What is Act 250?

Per the State of Vermont’s Natural Resources Board:
“Act 250 is Vermont’s land use and development law, enacted in 1970 at a time when Vermont was undergoing significant development pressure. The law provides a public, quasi-judicial process for reviewing and managing the environmental, social and fiscal consequences of major subdivisions and developments in Vermont. It assures that larger developments compliment Vermont’s unique landscape, economy and community needs. One of the strengths of Act 250 is the access it provides to neighbors and other interested parties to participate in the development review process. Applicants often work with neighbors, municipalities, state agencies and other interested groups to address concerns raised by a proposed development, resolving issues and mitigating impacts before a permit application is filed.

How does the law work?

Act 250 permit applications are reviewed by one of nine District Environmental Commissions, whose volunteer citizen members are appointed by the Governor. Staff support is provided by full-time District Environmental Coordinators, who are located in five district offices throughout the state. District Coordinators also issue Jurisdictional Opinions on whether an Act 250 permit is required.

Specific program objectives of Act 250 include:

  • thoroughly reviewing each Act 250 permit application under the requirements of the statutory criteria;
  • performing permit reviews and determinations regarding Act 250 Jurisdiction as expeditiously as possible;
  • providing assistance to applicants and other parties in preparation for their participation in Act 250 proceedings;
  • assisting permittees in maintaining compliance with permit terms and conditions; and
  • enforcing the requirements of Act 250 permits and the statute.

The Act 250 criteria have protected many important natural and cultural resources — water and air quality, wildlife habitat and agricultural soils (just to name a few) — that have long been valued by Vermonters and that are an important part of the state’s economy. No single law can protect all of Vermont’s unique attributes — but Act 250 plays a critical role in maintaining the quality of life that Vermonters enjoy.”  more….

This is a Statewide Issue for Vermont.  

NEK Rocks! Anita and Pam discuss the perils of expanding the landfill

Currently there is only one landfill in the state of Vermont to handle the trash of every resident, and the state has no long term plan to deal with their waste.  The landfill is located in the beautiful Northeast Kingdom, situated between wetlands and abutting the Black River, which flows into Lake Memphremagog.  Monster trash-carrying trucks drive over the lovely roadways every day to deposit their loads on the ever growing mountain of trash in Coventry.  The offensive odors from this landfill spread with the wind. To make matters worse, a leak in an unlined area of the landfill was recently discovered and the water iSailboatSM1n a testing well contains toxic chemicals (PFAS) that are way above the “safe” levels.  This is not just a Northeast Kingdom problem; the landfill impact is statewide.  The leachate from this landfill, containing almost six times the safety standard of PFAS toxins, is going to Montpelier, North Burlington, Barre, Essex, Concord, NH and Plattsburgh, NY.  After being treated in waste water treatment plants, which do NOT remove the PFAS, it is dumped into local waterways still containing the PFAS.  Lake Champlain is being polluted by this landfill’s leachate.

Tod Pronto – “Garbage” – Adapted from Bill Steele /Pete Seeger / Mike Agranoff

It is inconceivable that the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources approved a permit to INCREASE the size of this landfill after releasing the data on PFAS toxins in the leachate, and knowing the issues that have developed in Bennington.

Our NH neighbors are fighting to oppose a landfill in Dalton.  Read about their battle here:

Save Forest Lake, Dalton, NH

Please join us in the fight to close the landfill and find a better solution!

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(Header photo by Jeff Gerade, 2018)

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