Marilla Town Supervisor George Gertz brought a crowd of 40 people at the Town Board meeting Thursday up to date on the status of farmer Stanley Travis’ application for a state permit to store effluent from Quasar Energy on his Eastwood Road farm.
Gertz said the Department of Environmental Conservation has closed the public comment on the issue as of Sept. 17. The department received more then 100 letters, of which 53 were form letters. The rest asked specific questions.
“One woman came to me and wrote a four-page letter to the DEC quoting laws and other information,” Gertz said.
The DEC will now send Quasar Energy the list of questions and when Quasar answers, the DEC will review them.
Then, the DEC has to send letters to everyone who submitted questions and will hold a public hearing in Marilla. The DEC would make a decision about issuing a permit after the hearing.
Gertz said he spoke to an environmental attorney who wrote a legal opinion on the matter. He said the town must prove the effluent is a threat to public health. However, Gertz said, the board will hold a public hearing on a six-month moratorium in regard to solid waste and recycling storage processing and disposal in the Town of Marilla at the Nov. 5 board meeting, followed by a vote on the moratorium.
The law was written by Town Attorney Joel Kurtzhalts to ensure that no approvals for such land-use application be granted or permitted until the Town Board can complete its planning studies and has had an opportunity to consider and enact appropriate amendments to the code.
During this period, no board or agency of the town shall accept, process, review, recommend or grant approval for solid waste and recycling processing or the disposal of sewage or sewage sludge.