The State's largest trash agency says the town of Franklin is an eligible site for a new ash landfill. The Connetcicut Resources Recovery Authority is basing its opinion on recent test results of the area's groundwater.
CRRA wants to build an ash landfill on 100 to 150 acres in Franklin, right near the banks of the Shetucket River. The landfill would contain ash from some of the state’s trash to energy plants. The plan has been strongly opposed by town residents and some political leaders who believe the ash will damage the local environment.
But CRRA president Thomas Kirk says the results of recent pump tests confirm two important requirements -- that the groundwater below the site flows away from the landfill, towards the river, and that the quantity of groundwater is insufficient to support a municipal well. However, Kirk says there's still a long way to go.
"There are still a number of things that have to be investigated, confirmed, and evaluated before a permit can even be considered," says Kirk."And although the list is getting short, there are still things that can be discovered that would eliminate the site as a source."
Further studies by CRRA will include a traffic analysis and an evaluation of the landfill's impact on local wildlife.
Kirk says the trash agency is open to options that could eliminate the need for a landfill all together, such as recycling the ash into building materials.
"There are technological opportunities here, that -- if we can work with the DEP to overcome some of their concerns -- would be beneficial to the state," says Kirk. "That doesn't appear to be an option for us at this point in time."
Recycling and re-using ash is currently not permitted under the state's DEP regulations. Opponents of the proposed landfill plan a protest Wednesday morning (this morning) at the State Capitol. Calls to Toxics Action Center for comment in this story were not returned.
CRRA is an underwriter for WNPR Programming.