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Bucco to Sweeney: Allow Due Action to Close Fenimore Landfill

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Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) urges Senate President Steven Sweeney to immediately reconsider his political order made yesterday to cancel Monday’s hearing on S2617 to properly close and seal the hazardous Fenimore Landfill in Roxbury Township.

“Yesterday’s order by the Senate President directly keeps dozens of suffering local families and hundreds of area school students at risk,” Bucco said. “I’m concerned with protecting the people of this area from this hazardous situation.”

Senator Bucco noted that so far more than 150 residents and local officials have reached out to Democratic leaders in outrage over their horrific decision. Senator Bucco and co-prime sponsor of S2617 Joe Pennacchio (R-Morris) sent this letter today to Senator Sweeney, highlighting health issues and urging that this legislation receive its due hearing on Monday.

“I echo our local residents’ and officials’ calls for immediate reconsideration of this bill,” Bucco emphasized. “People in and around this landfill can’t breathe, enjoy any reasonable quality of life on their properties and are suffering asthma attacks and are facing other compounding health issues. It’s a new day, and hopefully Democratic leaders will reconsider this bill.”

Bucco’s Senate bill 2617 transfers the responsibility of the landfill closure to the state Department of Environmental Protection and prohibits any more hazardous dumping there.

“Given recent tests of the landfill, constant constituent complaints and looming season of summer heat, this problem will only get worse, unless it is immediately addressed with this legislation,” Bucco said.

The Fenimore Landfill closed in 1977 but reopened in 2011, when owner Rich Bernardi/Strategic Environmental Partners announced plans to cap the former municipal dumping ground and install a solar field there. Media reports, including this investigation, have chronicled the landfill’s failed closure, potential health hazards and surrounding litigation.

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