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CLF Disputes State Approval of Rochester Landfill Expansion

Sanborn Head

An environmental group is challenging state approval of an expansion plan at the region’s largest landfill – Turnkey in Rochester.

The Conservation Law Foundation filed the appeal with New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services Wednesday.

It reiterates earlier arguments that expanding Turnkey Landfill goes against a state policy of trying to reduce waste. And it says the landfill’s owner, Waste Management, should address potential water contamination around the landfill before getting to expand it.

“This is a massive expansion of an already massive landfill that will simply create more disposal capacity and in the process undermine NH’s and the rest of the region’s efforts to reduce waste through recycling and composting,” says attorney Tom Irwin, CLF’s New Hampshire director.

The more than 1,000-acre Turnkey Landfill is already the largest of its kind in New England. The proposed 58-acre expansion would let it handle 14 million more tons of trash by 2034.

A DES spokesman says the appeal will now go to the state’s Waste Management Council, which will decide whether to take it up.

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