Town of Marilla Attorney Joel Kurtzhalts has been tasked to determine if an Eastwoood Road farmer should be allowed to store processed bio-waste – including manure and food waste – for a West Seneca renewable energy company.
The farmer, Stanley Travis, first approached the town building inspector about the proposal but learned the town didn’t offer such a permit and he needed to get approval from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
But Councilman Donald Darrow – during a workshop meeting of the Town Board Tuesday – asked if the storage is legal under town regulations on solid waste and recycling, which ban the collection, transfer or disposition or any combination of waste matter unless its is done under a contract with the town.
Darrow also questioned whether the DEC can legally issue a permit because Travis’ proposal could be considered a commercial and redistribution operation – illegal in an agricultural area.
In addition, Kurtzhalts will look into the potential for damage to roads from trucking the waste to the farm.
Darrow had requested a 30-day extension of the DEC permit process, until Sept. 6, which was approved. He hopes to obtain a further delay, as well.
Though the DEC has completed an environmental review and OK’d the permit, it has yet to be issued.
Town Supervisor George Gertz noted he has yet to hear back from Quasar Energy Group, the Ohio-based renewable-energy company currently developing the West Seneca facility, about questions raised recently by town residents concerned about the stored waste’s impact on water and air quality and if its transfer would damage roads.
Travis plans to store the waste in a million-gallon tank on his property. He said the tank has never leaked.
During a meeting in July, Kristin Savard, a Quasar representative, said the West Seneca facility will process organic waste that would otherwise be sent to landfills. The waste will produce clean, renewable energy that would be sold to New York State Electric and Gas to provide electricity.