WATERLOO — Before leaving the Seneca County Board of Supervisors Dec. 31, Steve Churchill hoped to get a local law enacted to ban new waste management facilities in the county.
It was largely symbolic, since land-use regulation is up to the towns, but the proposed waste-to-energy incinerator in the town of Romulus and the existing Seneca Meadows landfill in Seneca Falls motivated Churchill’s action.
The local law was passed by the Environmental Affairs Committee of the board in November. However, when it came before the full board Tuesday, the board voted 10-4 to refer it back to the committee. Churchill never got to propose amendments.
Frustrated, he announced his work on the board was finished, and he left the meeting with a handful of resolutions still left on the agenda. Churchill did not run for re-election this year.
One of the “whereas” clauses in the proposed local law states the board “has a legitimate governmental interest in protecting the health, safety and welfare of the people who live in, work in and visit Seneca County from the deleterious effects of air and water pollution, odors, traffic, noise, litter and vectors from the management and disposal of solid waste within the county limits.”
It states solid waste management is “incompatible with the important position Seneca County has as home of its many residents, burgeoning tourist industry, wine and agricultural industry in the heart of the Finger Lakes.”
It would have set a public hearing on the local law for Jan. 9 and allows for exemptions from the definition of solid waste facilities for farms following sound practices, facilities that receive or collect only non-putrescible, non-hazardous solid waste or legitimate recycled or reclaimed waste. Also, citizen recycling programs, town recycling programs, composting, farming operations, town highway operations, bonafide salvage dealers and town or county municipal waste transfer stations.
A motion to introduce the local law was made by Churchill, seconded by Cindy Lorenzetti of Fayette. Greg Lazzaro of Seneca Falls immediately moved to refer it back to committee, seconded by Don Trout of Waterloo.
The motion was approve, 10-4. Joining Churchill and Lorenzetti in voting no were Gary Westfall of Waterloo and Bob Hayssen of Varick.