Public meeting announced to address residents' concerns over Modern Landfill

Noel Miller
York Dispatch

After months of residents vocalizing concern of how Modern Landfill is affecting local water quality, Republic Services and the landfill will hold an informational community meeting for Lower Windsor Township residents.

Township Manager Sande Cunningham said Thursday that, while the meeting will be held in the municipal building gymnasium, it is not a township-sponsored event.

The community meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 27, in the Lower Windsor Township municipal building gymnasium. It will include a presentation on the upgrades to the landfill’s wastewater treatment facility. Experts from the landfill will also take questions from residents to address their concerns.

Republic Services Modern Landfill in Lower Windsor Township, Thursday, September 17, 2020.
John A. Pavoncello photo

The meeting follows years of resident questions about the landfill's wastewater discharges into Kreutz Creek and, more recently, concerns about so-called toxic "forever chemicals" found in nearby water supplies.

MORE:Central York boys top Eastern York, set up rivalry clash in York-Adams League final

MORE:Some unclean conditions found at area eatery: State inspector

MORE:Police seek missing Red Lion High School student

"The goal of the meeting is to allow residents to have a meaningful dialogue with experts and have their questions answered," said Tim O'Donnell, the landfill's general manager.

In 2017, Modern Landfill fell out of compliance with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protections limits on certain chemicals in its leachate. Since then, the landfill has complied with the DEP to plan and install changes bring the landfill up to code.

>> Please consider subscribing to support local journalism. 

The township board of supervisors asked Modern Landfill to put together a community meeting where residents could ask questions and learn about the wastewater treatment facility construction, O'Donnell said.

Plans are still being finalized, but Modern Landfill officials attending the meeting will consist of a "diverse group of experts who will explain the all the different procedures we have in place to ensure we operate safely and responsibly," he said.

Ted Evgeniadis, the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper, and the DEP have been invited to the meeting and are welcome to participate, O'Donnell said.

Currently, construction on the wastewater treatment facility is over two-thirds of the way finished and is expected to be complete in May.

Treatment facility upgrades were originally expected to be completed in July 2021, but they were delayed. John Repetz, a DEP spokesperson, said the state extended the landfill's permit allowing it to temporarily exceed boron and osmotic pressure levels.

Despite the company getting DEP’s approval for an extended permit, the riverkeeper sued Republic Services and Modern Landfill in early January for violating the Clean Water Act. Evgeniadis, who has spoken about how Kreutz Creek is affected by the landfill at several township meetings, said he will likely be at the March 27 community meeting.

Construction of the water treatment center at Modern Landfill in Yorkana on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022.

A reverse osmosis system is the pinnacle of the upgrades. It will treat for several chemicals that had levels violating DEP standards, and it will also filter out PFAS. However, the filter will not destroy the PFAS. Instead PFAS and the other chemicals will be captured in a concentrated waste stream and taken off site to be disposed at a licensed facility, according to the landfill.

More:Horse thief had York County mare shipped to Piggly Wiggly in Mississippi: Police

More:York City's homicide rate last year topped Philadelphia, New York and Chicago

More:Parents file lawsuit against school district's empathy-based curriculum

Despite the new filter, residents have remained skeptical about the upgrades and are unhappy with how long they have taken. Several residents worried about how the leachate may affect local drinking water and have even paid for their own drinking water testing.

For additional details on the March 27 community meeting, visit https://bit.ly/3IDzCc0.

— Reach Noel Miller at NMiller3@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @TheNoelM.