The Law Center worked with SUFFER during the public comment period to ensure that residents’ concerns about their public health and safety were given a voice, and that any permit awarded by DEP protects human health and the environment. Local residents expressed concerns at a public informational meeting and submitted comments about the potential hazardous materials being brought to the site, the effect on groundwater, the sampling and testing protocols for the project, and the rationale for permitting such a large demonstration project so near vulnerable residences, among other things.
Unfortunately, these concerns were largely ignored, and in March 2010, DEP approved the permit application.
The next month, the Law Center and SUFFER challenged DEP’s extraordinary decision allowing the developer to dump over two million tons of untested waste materials. The appeal argued that DEP abused its discretion by approving the full scope of HCP’s project under the small-scale research and development permit process, and that the proposed and approved monitoring at the site did too little to ensure the safety of residents.
In filing the appeal, the Law Center also asked the state Environmental Hearing Board to overturn the decision and to stop any dumping activities until the appeal is decided on the merits.