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Zoning Plan From Dalton Landfill Opponents Gets First Public Hearing

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The North Country town of Dalton holds a public hearing Tuesday on plans to try and block a controversial landfill project.

The informational hearing at 7 p.m. comes ahead of a special town meeting July 30, where the town will vote on the emergency zoning proposal.

Dalton is one of the state's few towns with no zoning ordinance. This proposal would put some basic zoning in place.

One of its goals is to prevent waste management company Casella from building a landfill on an undeveloped private parcel next to Forest Lake State Park.

Vermont-based Casella says it needs the project to expand its capacity in the region. It was denied a bid to expand its near-capacity Bethlehem landfill last year.

The landfill is still in its early stages and will likely face a years-long state and federal permitting before it can move forward.

Still, the proposal and opposing zoning plan have become divisive in Dalton, with locals organizing into two advocacy groups – Save Dalton and Save Forest Lake.

The former sees the idea of zoning as an economic threat. The latter is concerned about the landfill's potential environmental impacts.

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.

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