ANGELICA — State officials are seeking public comment on a project to more than double the size of the Hyland landfill in Allegany County.
The Department of Environmental Conservation will host a virtual public comment hearing at 6 p.m. Wednesday on a proposed 107-acre expansion of the Hyland Facility Associates-operated municipal solid waste landfill south of the village.
DEC officials reported the operators are seeking to modify the operating permit to add 107 acres to the landfill footprint, increase the maximum height by 120 feet to 180 feet, and more than double the amount of waste the facility can take annually — from 465,000 to 1 million tons. The proposed expansion would extend the life of the Hyland Landfill by 25 to 30 years.
The expansion is planned for about 50.8 acres to the east of the current site, and 53.3 acres south and west of the current site. A 36.8 acre borrow area is also planned further to the south. All three expansion areas and the main landfill are located on approximately 1,036 acres on the hills south of the village.
Built between 1995 and 1998, the current facility has 76 acres of landfill cell area after a 2006 expansion and a total capacity of around 15 million cubic yards of waste. In 2006, a 48-acre addition was approved and built.
The current expansion proposal won a 2020 referendum in the town, receiving almost 58% of the vote. The original plans for the landfill indicate up to four expansion referendums could go up for vote during the life of the facility.
Attendees wishing to make a public statement must register by 3 p.m. Tuesday at www.dec.ny.gov/permits/124474. The application, environmental assessment documents and other information are also available on the website.
Written comments will also be accepted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to Charles Cranston, deputy regional permit administrator, NYSDEC, 182 East Union Street, Suite 3, Allegany, NY 14706. Comments must be emailed or postmarked by 5 p.m. Feb. 22.
The DEC reports 26 active municipal solid waste landfills in the state after the Allegany County government-owned landfill, about a mile southwest of the Hyland site, closed in 2016.
In 2007, a second permit modification allowed for a landfill gas to energy plant on the site, using methane gas created by organic decomposition in the landfill. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, landfill gas is a byproduct of organic material decomposition and consists of roughly 50% methane, 50% carbon dioxide, and trace amounts of other compounds.
While a major source of greenhouse gases, landfill operators can use methane — the primary component of natural gas — to generate electricity. The generation plant at Hyland is capable of producing 4.8 MW, according to the DEC.