Stop the Dump News
FEMA Confirms Landfill Illegally in Floodwayby Susan Watkins
5/9/2013 12:57:39 AM
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has confirmed what the Stop the Dump Coalition has long contended -- that a portion of Riverbend Landfill was unlawfully built in the floodway of the South Yamhill River.
In a letter dated May 2, 2013, FEMA formally notified the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners that the County is "potentially in violation" of federal law due to placement of the landfill in the federally-regulated floodway.
According to the FEMA letter, placing the landfill in the floodway caused a prohibited increase in flood elevations on the river. Increased flood levels may hasten stream bank erosion and channel change and damage neighboring lands and structures. Even Waste Management, Riverbend's Texas-based owner, has acknowledged that the river bank is eroding, moving the main channel toward the landfill.
Stop the Dump Coalition President Ilsa Perse intends to ask the Board of Commissioners at its meeting Thursday, May 9, to investigate the County's role in allowing the landfill to encroach on the floodway and its failure to monitor landfill construction and operation for the past thirty years.
Opponents of landfill expansion have long contended that landfill owners and managers ignored floodway regulations in the 1980's when Riverbend was originally sited. In 1992, hazelnut farmer Lee Frease asked the County to determine whether the landfill conformed to County requirements, including floodplain development conditions. Frease and others pointed to an exchange of letters between the County and the Army Corps of Engineers in 1980-81 to bolster their argument that both the landfill's owners and the County knew the landfill design encroached on the floodway.
Last year neighbors again asked the County to hold a hearing to determine whether the landfill was sited and operating within its land use approvals. When the County declined, the neighbors sued, losing their appeal a week before FEMA issued its letter of violation.
The County has abdicated its responsibility to oversee the landfill long enough. Contact your Commissioners to demand they finally take control of this significant cancer on the green bosom of our valley.
Kathy George: email@example.com
Alan Springer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Stern: email@example.com
Meet Suzanne Bonamici!by Stop The Dump Staff
4/29/2013 12:53:08 AM
Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici is coming to McMinnville for a town hall Monday, April 29. Let her know how you feel about an unsafe dump sitting on the banks of your river. Tell her it's time to close Riverbend -- not to let this Trash Mountain expand onto 60 acres of the country's best farm land!
McMinnville Town Hall Meeting
Date: April 29, 2013
Location: Chemeketa Community College, Yamhill Valley Campus, Building 1, Room 101, 288 NE
Norton Lane, McMinnville, OR 97128
Appeals Court Rejects Right to Hearingby Susan Watkins
4/25/2013 1:45:44 AM
The Oregon Court of Appeals has rejected landfill neighbors' request for a hearing on the dump's compliance with land use laws. The Court ruled that the County's 1992 decision upholding Riverbend's right to fill the entire PWS zone with garbage still applies today. The decision means that the County has abdicated any control over Waste Management's operation of the dump.
The County must issue a LUCS -- a Land Use Compatibility Statement -- before the dump can expand. In this case, the LUCS was issued for the 4-story high MSE berm Waste Management wants to build on the Highway 18 side of the dump. Although the berm would not expand the landfill's on-the-ground footprint, the tall wall will allow Riverbend to expand its capacity by an additional million tons of garbage. Assuming DEQ issues a permit as expected, Waste Management can proceed to construct the berm.
The Court cited a decision the County made in favor of the landfill in 1992. That decision in turn relied on the Board of Commissioners' 1980 reasoning in initially approving a landfill at the Riverbend site. The original 1980 decision contemplated a much smaller landfill (7-9 feet above Highway 18, not 135 feet!) that would be returned to farming one 20-acre cell at a time. The County's 1992 decision translated that original limited approval into a blanket approval for any landfill use within the PWS zone.
It is hard to believe that a landfill approved over 30 years ago can significantly expand and fundamentally change its operation without ever having those changes subject to land use review, but this is essentially what the Court of Appeals ruled.
Please contact the Commissioners to express your dismay over this result! Yamhill County residents and businesses deserve a hearing on landfill growth.
Kathy George: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan Springer: email@example.com
Mary Stern: firstname.lastname@example.org
Smell Meeting Tuesday April 23rdby Ilsa Perse
4/23/2013 1:42:11 AM
Tuesday April 23rd is the semi-annual Riverbend Air Quality Meeting -- time to talk smell!
Waste Management has been quizzing school groups that come to the dump. While the children are at the bottom of the trash mound, they are asked "How does it smell?" At the bottom the smell is not so bad, so when the kids say they can't smell anything, Waste Management turns their statements into an ad. WM personnel don't ask the kids what the smell is like at the top of Dump Mountain or on the road or at Linfield College or Sue Buel School, Albertson's, or Roth's. That is where you come in, because you know how bad the dump smells at all those places.
Keep the pressure on DEQ -- let them know the smell isn't getting any better.
Pizza at 6:00, Meeting at 7:00
McMinnville Community Center, 2250 McDaniel Lane, McMinnville.
Can't come to the meeting??? You can send an email to Gary Andes: email@example.com to tell him about the odors. Please copy Bob Schwarz on your email: SCHWARZ.Bob@deq.state.or.us and also Yamhill County's Sherrie Mathison: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, you can contact the office of the State Representative for the area around Riverbend, District 23. Some of us have met with Rep. Thompson, and he seems interested in learning more about the dump. He needs to hear from you!!!
4/23/2013 6:00:00 PM
2250 McDaniel Lane
La Rambla to Host Benefit Dinnerby Ilsa Perse
4/10/2013 2:27:02 AM
Here's a pleasant change: Instead of spending time at a difficult meeting, waving a sign on a street corner, or writing a letter, join us for dinner.
Kathy Stoller from La Rambla Restaurant in McMinnville has generously offered to donate a percent of the sales on this Sunday night, April 14, to Stop the Dump/Waste Not. We are thrilled by her generous offer.
Here are the details:
TIME: 5:30 for wine and hanging out; 6:00 or so.... for dinner
WHERE: La Rambla 238 NE Third St, McMinnville
WHEN: April 14th--Sunday
Kathy asks that you call La Rambla to tell them you are coming----503-435-2126. Easier than writing DEQ!
See you Sunday!
We THANK YOU for all your support!
(And if you really need to get out to a meeting this week, Waste Management will discuss plans for the so-called buffer lands that surround the dump on Wednesday and Thursday evenings: Wednesday, April 10, in McMinnville, 5:30 - 7:30 pm at the Senior Center, 2250 NE McDaniel Lane; Thursday, April 11, in Newberg, 5:30-7:30 pm, Chehalem Cultural Center, 415 E Sheridan Street. Let them know that the dump needs to close and the land, mostly EFU, should remain in farming.)
4/14/2013 5:30:00 PM
238 NE Third