A group of Marilla citizens plans to sue the state Department of Environmental Conservation in the approval of a farmer’s plans to store waste from a digester plant owned by Quasar Energy.
Attorney Richard Stanton intends file the suit in State Supreme Court, alleging the DEC failed to perform a full assessment review and only did a negative declaration on the permit application filed last December by Stanley Travis of Trav-Co Farms, officials said.
The development was announced during a meeting of the Town Board Tuesday evening.
Town Supervisor Earl Gingerich Jr. asked Town Attorney Joel Kurtzhalts about the possibility of the town joining the lawsuit. Kurtzhalts was asked to report back to the board.
Town officials said they knew nothing about Travis’ permit application until informed by residents who saw it in a local newspaper in 2012.
Kurtzhalts said one month has lapsed since the DEC issued the permit to Travis, allowing for storage in a cement tank on the 27-acre farm owned by Stanley Travis on Eastwood Road. The state allows four months to wage legal challenges of its decisions.
The board will conduct a public hearing tonight on extending a six-month moratorium another six months on storage of sludge, originally approved last November. Currently, town law bans the storage of sludge as a commercial operation. Eastwood Road residents who rely on well water are worried about potential seepage into the ground water. Quasar Energy has defended the safety of its sludge, which it calls “equate.” The material is regulated by state and federal environmental agencies.
Gingerich also noted the DEC has told town officials they need to get rid of an underground fuel storage tank at the town recycling facility on Eastwood Road and install an above-ground tank. The supervisor noted the tank has been pumped out and another tank is being used.