Arbor Hills Landfill Town Hall Q & A

Arbor Hills Landfill Town Hall Q & A

Arbor Hills Landfill Town Hall – Response to Community
Posted on 05/31/2019
ReponsesOn April 16, 2019, State Senator Dayna Polehanki, State Representative Matt Koleszar and Northville Township Supervisor Robert Nix II held a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the Arbor Hills Landfill. Mr. Scott Miller, Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), Air Quality Division (AQD) and Mr. Larry Bean, EGLE Materials Management Division (MMD) along with Supervisor Nix, Senator Polehanki and Representative Koleszar, answered community questions during the town hall but time constraints did not allow all questions to be answered.

Each group represented (DEQ, Legislators and Northville Township) was given a copy of the questions addressed to them. The questions contained in this document represent those given to the Township to answer. You will find questions answered by category or topic, grouped together for your convenience.
To see the questions answered by the DEQ and by the Legislators, please click on the links.

Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy EGLE Responses

Representative Koleszar and Senator Polehanki's Responses

Closure (Landfill)
1. The dump is too close to schools. It seems Arbor Hills has "purchased" officials to insure that the landfill with continue. It needs to close. We need help from our state officials to do so.

Northville Township has no authority over the location of schools, which resides exclusively with the Northville School District. No Northville Township Official has received any campaign contributions or other payments and have not been "purchased". .

2. Why haven't they closed the dump? When we moved here, it was told that the dump only had a few years left of operation. We called the fire department because we smelled an obnoxious odor, they checked out gas lines. It was the dump. We have had eye irritation, sore throats and headaches. Please close this dump - too close to people!

Northville Township and its Elected Officials have no authority, control or jurisdiction over the landfill or authority to close the dump.

3. When will Northville Township boycott the dump and whomever owns it?

Northville Township has a contract with GFL to collect waste but does not have the contractual right to designate the landfill GFL uses. Any boycotting of the landfill or other contract changes requires consideration of the impact on service and costs to all Township residents.

Community and Health
4. Does the profit justify the health and welfare of so many surrounding your families?

Northville Township and its elected officials agree that the profit received by Landfill operators and the fees paid to Washtenaw County and Salem Township do not justify the odor emissions and impacts on Northville Township residents.

Landfill Expansion
5. In the interim, don't Salem Township and Washtenaw County have the authority to stop any efforts for a landfill expansion, and can we hold them - as well as the landfill - responsible for the noxious odors Northville Township residents have been experiencing?

Washtenaw County and Salem Township have the authority to stop future landfill expansion. Northville Township, working in concert with its residents, successfully opposed the expansion being included in Washtenaw County’s current Waste Management Plan.

6. No expansion should ever be considered…this landfill now sets among a very populated area with young families and schools. How can any of the agencies that have been put into place not see that a landfill in this area is dangerous and a real health concern to future generations?

Northville Township will oppose any future expansion to the landfill.

7. What do you say to people in NV City who blatantly say this isn’t an issue that affects them?

The Township has reached out to Northville City Officials for assistance with the issues involving the landfill.

8. What are our best opportunities for blocking expansion at the Salem Township site?

The joint efforts of Northville Township, the City of Northville, the Northville Public School Board, the Conservancy Initiative, our residents, Wayne County, and State Officials.

(refers to the statement by the Conservancy Initiative of their intent to file a lawsuit)

9. Why city is not included on the lawsuit?

The affected residents are the proper parties to a lawsuit to recover damages and injuries caused by the landfill. The Township is not a proper party for such litigation.

10. Why can't the township pay for the welfare of its citizens and help out with the lawsuit? We don't want development; we want clean air!

The Township cannot fund a lawsuit where we are not a proper party.

11. If legal action is needed to get the dump under control, with NV township commit to assisting with fundraising efforts? Currently the cost would be forced on residents, but everyone would benefit in the township.

The Township will support the Conservancy in its fund raising efforts.

Property Values
12. Will you be lowering our property taxes to account for our loss in property values?

No. Residents do have the right to seek a reduction in their property values following proper procedures.

13. Prospective buys at new and existing homes in the area should be disclosed the air quality issues and pending litigation.

Any disclosures should comply with applicable laws.

14. Do current regulations define the distanced schools, residential, neighborhoods, churches, etc. must be kept from a landfill? Should this change?

Please see the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) response to this.Northville Township believes the current regulations do not provide a sufficient distance for schools and residences and will seek the assistance of our State Legislators in changing the current law.

Town Hall Meeting
15. With so many concerned citizens in attendance at tonight's Town Hall and because your very participation in the Town Hall show your willingness to directly engage and hopefully intercede on your constituents’ behalf, what has the public Q&A been limited to only thirty (30) minutes - shouldn't more time be given for impacted member of the community to publicly as questions of their elected officials and EGLE?

The format for the Town Hall meeting was established by Senator Polehanki and Representative Kolezar. The total time available was limited. Thus, the format was intended to provide sufficient time for the EGLE’s presentation, answer resident questions directly and follow-up with responses to all unanswered questions. 

16. It will not fix the air quality or stop the expansion but it will increase the operating cost and save our roads. Put axle limits at 2 or weight limits on 7, 6, and 5 mile roads west of Beck. This makes sure the trucks go to the next interchange and use Salem's roads.

Northville Township has no authority over roads, weight limits, etc.

17. We need a No Trucks sign on Ridge Road between 6 & 5 Miles Rds.

The decision to prohibit trucks on Ridge Road between 5 & 6 Mile lies with Wayne County. We will provide your request to Wayne County.

18. Stopping the traffic is great, but what about 5 Mile?

Since 5 Mile is a jurisdictional boundary with Plymouth Township, Wayne County has selected 5 Mile Road as a preferable traffic alternative to 6 and Napier Road, which directly impacts our affected subdivisions.

19. Why can't trucks get off M-14 in Washtenaw County?

Exits off of M-14 are controlled under the jurisdiction of the Michigan Department of Transportation (M-DOT) and to date Plymouth and Northville Townships have been unsuccessful in obtaining M-DOT approval for any additional exits.

20. Any plans for a new exit from M-14 to the trash site?

See response above.

21. Why doesn't Northville give violations for leaking trucks (liquids/dust on our roads)?

Wayne County and the State Police are primarily responsible for and are currently enforcing traffic laws that contribute to these situations. Northville Township patrol vehicles also enforce the laws and issue violations when applicable.

22. Why doesn't the county/Northville township issue tickets for speeding/running red lights /overweight loads?

See response above.

Washtenaw County
23. When is the last time NV township discussed the landfill issues with Washtenaw County and what came of that discussion?

Northville Township Officials attended multiple meetings with Washtenaw County during 2018 opposing the Landfill expansion. As a result, Northville Township opposed including the expansion site in the Washtenaw County 5-Year Waste Management Plan. 

24. Why was so much of residential land, schools and senior care center zoned so close to such a callous polluter?

The cause of the environment concerns of the residents is the operation of the landfill (since 2015) in violation of applicable law, not the zoning.

25. How is landfill allowed to grow adjacent to residentially zoned areas?

The growth and the size of the landfill in 2009 was approved by Salem Township without the knowledge or disclosure to Northville Township.

26. Why is Northville Township still building homes near the landfill? Putting families in harm's way?

The continued construction of homes in the area are driven by a current demand by buyers who may anticipate that the enforcement action by the DEQ will resolve the odor issues.

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