Feds initiate public comment period on Toa Alta landfill
By The Star Staff
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) issued an announcement Tuesday to begin a public comment process with respect to the preliminary resolution orders on the Municipality of Toa Alta to implement a series of measures to immediately address the serious problems associated with its landfill.
The EPA and the DOJ took the unusual step to work together in seeking comments on a preliminary settlement order to ensure that the agencies integrate input from the community that has been historically impacted by the operations of the landfill.
To begin receiving public comments, the EPA and DOJ issued a summary on Tuesday in English and Spanish of the terms being considered for the order and requested written comments on or before March 4. EPA will also hold a public meeting on Feb. 23 to explain options for addressing landfill conditions and receive public comment.
“We are taking this necessary step of obtaining feedback because this community has suffered too long from the operations of this landfill,” said Lisa F. García, the EPA regional administrator. “EPA is working to address the issues and we appreciate that the city is willing to agree to take immediate action to address the worst and most urgent issues. We want to issue a strong resolution order that will begin to get this landfill on track immediately as we continue to negotiate a longer-term solution.”