Marcellus Waste Processing Facility Planned for Sunbury, PA

Clean Harbors Environmental Services of Norwell, Mass. has applied for a permit to build a “waste processing facility” in Sunbury (Northumberland County), PA. The facility will accept up to 1,000 tons of Marcellus Shale drill cuttings, drilling mud and other materials per day. Although the waste is not toxic, some local officials are concerned and upset that the state DEP alone will make a decision about whether or not to approve the permit (Sunbury has no say in the matter). Sunbury mayor David Persing supports the new facility.

Northumberland County Commissioners Vinny Clausi, Rick Shoch and Stephen Bridy plan to assist Sunbury officials and residents by investigating a proposal by a Massachusetts company to construct a waste transfer station.

At their meeting Tuesday afternoon, the commissioners said they are concerned about the potential pollution and contamination that could result from the facility if it is built.

Clean Harbors Environmental Services of Norwell, Mass., applied for a permit Feb. 1 to operate a residual waste processing facility. Clean Harbors may accept 1,000 tons of Marcellus Shale industry-generated residual waste a day that will be in liquid and solid form.

The waste will include drill cuttings, drilling mud, plastics, batteries and other materials that will be hauled to the former Celotex si te on North Front Street in Sunbury by Clean Harbors. Any liquid waste would go through one of two processes of consolidation and solidification.

The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will decide if a permit is issued for the waste transfer station. City officials have been informed they have no say in the matter.

Representatives from Clean Harbor and DEP met with city council members last week in a closed-door session to discuss the proposed project.

"I want to protect the citizens of Sunbury by making sure they do what is right with this project," Clausi said. "I don’t want any contamination to occur. We as commissioners plan to keep on top of this. I will speak my mind and I don’t care who threatens or sues me. I will do what’s right."

Bridy stated, "The company proposing the waste transfer station hasn’t been forthright with its proposal. We don’t need any more pollution."*

*Shamokin (PA) The News Item (Mar 28, 2012) – Waste permit sought

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