Portsmouth landfill firm seeks 1-year extension

Island Park landfill.

AP Enterprise, the company capping Portsmouth's Island Park landfill, has filed a request for an additional year to complete the last 20% of the project, according to documents distributed today by Mark Dennen of the RI Dept. of Environmental Management. The "Beneficial Use Determination," under which the work has been proceeding, is set to expire on September 17.

Writing for APE, environmental consultant Tim O'Connor blames the "constraints imposed by both the replacement of the Sakonnet River Bridge and the weak economy" for the slow progress: "A number of competing landfills had temporarily closed," O'Connor explained, which had provided a stream of material. "The competing landfills are back open and Boston soil cannot be economically shipped to Portsmouth at this time."

Also, O'Connor noted, "The sources of soil in our market area of Rhode Island have not been sufficient to find all the necessary shaping and grading material as well as final cap. However, the slow improvement of the local economy should provide enough material to finish in the coming months, but, certainly not by September."

And the Sakonnet River Bridge -- which previously was blamed as a problem for trucks because of weight limits -- now comes in for a new criticism, as O'Connor says that shipments to Portsmouth will be "further discouraged by tolls."

"The primary reasons the project has not been completed are beyond APE's control," O'Connor said, asking RIDEM to grant the request for additional time.

Also in today's communication from RIDEM is a letter closing an issue with soil exceeding the residential limit of 7 mg/kg not being immediately covered, following an on-site inspection that showed "the site is in compliance." Dennen reminds APE of their obligation: "Please be advised that you are responsible for continued compliance with all of the conditions of your 2012 Beneficial Use Determination."

Links to the request for extension and compliance letter.