The Town of Perinton has a new Host Community Agreement (HCA) for High Acres Landfill and corresponding 8-Point Plan to mitigate odors and restrict rail waste from New York City. The HCA is a negotiated document between the Town of Perinton and Waste Management that outlines the protections and benefits provided to Perinton residents for hosting a portion of the High Acres Landfill within the Town.
148 comments were collected from residents on the draft HCA, which were reviewed and considered by Town of Perinton officials during negotiations with Waste Management.
The Perinton Town Board voted to approve the new HCA on December 22, 2021, and it will be effective for a 5-year term.
8-Point Plan to Control Odor
Perinton’s new HCA contains a comprehensive 8-Point Plan designed to ensure the proper operational management of High Acres Landfill and a comprehensive 8-point plan designed to complement the Town’s existing efforts to ensure the proper operational management of High Acres Landfill is included in the new HCA. The Town has worked to establish several of these practices since the significant odor event of 2017. However, the Town’s plan will also take new action by calling for new restrictions on rail waste arriving from New York City and additional limitations on the amount of highly odorous material landfilled at High Acres. The 8-point plan includes the following measures:
1. Improvements to the general operation and maintenance of the landfill. This will ensure that Waste Management continues to invest in best operating and maintenance practices, including those identified in Waste Management’s September 2018 commitment letter to the Town of Perinton.
2. Enhanced Monitoring and Reporting. Making Waste Management responsible to perform the most stringent landfill surface scanning assessment for fugitive gas emissions in all of New York State.
3. Continued and improved information sharing. The Town will ensure Waste Management’s participation in routine Tech Team meetings to discuss operational activities, ongoing mitigation, employment of best management practices, and causes of odor concerns. Waste Management will also provide the Town with updates on all regulatory communication with Federal/State Agencies.
4. Creation of a new Odor Verification Program utilizing ASTM Standards to evaluate the intensity of odors.
5. Upgraded Odor Notification Program. Waste Management will continue to be responsible for maintaining, operating, and funding a NYS DEC-mandated local odor notification hot-line accessible 24/7. Trained personnel will respond within 30-minutes to measure odor type, duration, and intensity utilizing a scientific ASTM n-butanol scale.
6. Odor Event Accountability. Waste Management will provide written justification to the Town of Perinton for the cause of undue odors, identify mitigative steps that will be taken and associated timeframes to address off-site impacts.
7. New restrictions on rail operations. The Town is concerned over the volume of municipal solid waste coming from the 5-boroughs of New York City to High Acres Landfill. Therefore, the Town will work with Waste Management to reduce the volume of municipal solid waste delivered to High Acres Landfill by rail from New York City to pre-2017 levels. The Town is making this request to ensure that Waste Management can reasonably manage incoming waste delivered by rail to High Acres Landfill and responsibly control associated odors.
8. Additional restrictions on waste in accordance with the Waste Characterization Study. In 2018, the Town of Perinton and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation commissioned a Waste Characterization Study, completed by a third-party consultant, which evaluated all types of waste and all types of transport methods, including rail waste coming from New York City.
According to that study, bio-solids were identified as a highly odorous waste stream. Therefore, the Town seized an opportunity to partner with Monroe County and Waste Management to help mitigate odor issues by reducing the total amount of bio-solids coming into High Acres Landfill from Monroe County’s VanLare Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Additional restrictions will also be placed on the age of waste brought to High Acres Landfill. The Town will work with Waste Management to restrict when municipal solid waste is considered aged through agreed-upon time limits. This new restriction would also apply to rail waste coming from New York City.
New Accountability Measures Implemented by the Town
The Town also incorporated local Operation & Maintenance (O&M) measures, which will hold Waste Management accountable and ultimately give the Town the authority to suspend the operational permit, or Special Use Permit (SUP), for High Acres Landfill if they do not comply with the conditions of the permit or new HCA.
Established in 1971, High Acres Landfill is a privately-owned landfill, a division of Waste Management of New York, LLC. It is located on the eastern edge of Monroe County in the Town of Perinton and crosses over the western border of Wayne County in the Town of Macedon. The 1,200-acre property includes a renewable energy plant, nature/trail area, fire department training facility, police range, a compost recycling area, a residential drop-off station, and approximately 360-acres of permitted landfill area.