One of our supporters e-mailed DEQ concerning the 60-day timeline addressed in their July 1st letter to Green Ridge. Below is a copy (with the author’s permission) of the contents of the e-mail sent to DEQ and the response from them.
E-Mail Sent to DEQ
Dear Director Paylor,
I currently own a house and 32 acres located in Cumberland County. I have owned the 22 acres for close to 19 years and the house on ten adjoining acres for approximately three years. The property is a quarter of a mile from the proposed Green Ridge landfill.
I and others intend to continue to fight the proposed landfill as vigorously as possible. Due to our common proximity to the proposed site, we feel we have been unfairly and randomly targeted. Most of us are not poor, uneducated or unmotivated and our plight is gaining momentum. I am very concerned that the well, that my family and I depend on, will become contaminated when the liner leaks as they all do.
On July 1, 2020 DEQ wrote a letter to Green Ridge identifying inconsistencies and actual omissions, which could be construed as falsifications, related to their NOI for a proposed landfill in Cumberland. The date of September 1, 2020 was stipulated as a required response date. To date, DEQ has not received a response from Green Ridge. If Green Ridge is not responding now to the State of Virginia’s permitting agency when there is a tremendous reason to respond with an impending deadline, what do you think they will do after they are already operating in my back yard? How many passes will Green Ridge be allowed?
I look forward to hearing back from you.
Response From DEQ
Good morning; I am responding to your e-mail to Director Paylor. I work with Messrs. Golden and Weimer in our Piedmont Regional Office.
There has been a bit of confusion among people who have reviewed DEQ’s letter to Green Ridge dated July 1st. That letter contained a request to submit the required information regarding the NOI within 60 days, but that request was not driven off a statutory or regulatory requirement.
9VAC20-80-450(C)(2) and 9-VAC-450-80(D)(2) provide specific deadlines pertaining to the review of Parts A and B of the permit application, respectively, but there is no corresponding requirement in 9VAC20-80-450(B) for the NOI itself. The 60-day deadline was provided by staff to keep the process moving.
As the 60-day deadline in the July 1 letter was consistent with the aforementioned requirements for Parts A and B, I can understand why someone reading the July 1 letter would infer that the deadline in question carried more weight. I’ve provided a link to the regulation for your reference:
DEQ staff are processing this application in accordance with the statute and regulations, and any decision regarding the denial or approval of a permit will be made in accordance with the statute and regulations. We appreciate your interest in the permit application and your role as a citizen in this process.
Kyle Ivar Winter, P.E.
Deputy Regional Director, Acting Water Planning and Permits Manager
Department of Environmental Quality, Piedmont Regional Office
4949-A Cox Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060