LANCASTER, PA— The Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA) announced it received final approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on its application for a major permit modification to vertically expand the Frey Farm Landfill.
While LCSWMA’s Integrated System effectively diverts 96-98% of Lancaster County’s municipal solid waste from the landfill each year, the reality is that not all waste can be reused, recycled or combusted for energy and must be disposed in an environmentally-safe manner. Thus, the Frey Farm Landfill, located in Conestoga, serves an important role in the Integrated System by protecting the safety, health and welfare of the community. The Frey Farm Landfill is the only municipal landfill in PA to not receive a violation from DEP in 25 years.
The $56M vertical expansion project will maximize LCSWMA’s current landfill site by using mechanically stabilized earthen berms. This design limits the height increase to just 50 feet and lateral expansion to only 9-acres. The result is 6.4 million cubic yards of capacity, which translates to 18-20 years of environmentally-safe disposal for Lancaster County. This project also protects local resources by eliminating the need to acquire new land for landfilling purposes.
Leading to this milestone, LCSWMA invested over a decade in planning for a vertical expansion of the Frey Farm Landfill, including extensive environmental and engineering analyses. The goal was to design a project that provides this much-needed public service (i.e., future landfill capacity), while minimizing its environmental, social and aesthetic impacts.
Through an extensive and comprehensive permit review, DEP determined the public benefits of this project clearly outweigh the known and potential harms. Additionally, DEP undertook an intensive technical review process to affirm the stability of the site and the appropriateness of the project design.
“LCSWMA commends DEP for its diligence in thoroughly vetting the permit application, and for its discernment in determining this project responsibly provides for the future needs of the community,” says Jim Warner, LCSWMA’s CEO. “Receiving DEP approval for the vertical expansion project was a critical step to ensure LCSWMA can continue providing Lancaster County with cost-effective waste management services.”
The modified permit contains numerous conditions to protect the environment and community, including ongoing monitoring of the site and surrounding environment. Additionally, LCSWMA committed to developing a visual landscape synthesis plan to aesthetically blend the Frey Farm Landfill into the surrounding scenery over time.
Construction is slated to begin this fall, to be ready for waste placement by spring 2019.