Photo of Senator Looney.

Senate President Pro Tempore

Martin M. Looney

Representing New Haven, Hamden & North Haven

Looney & Paolillo Submit Testimony in Opposition to Permit for Putrescible Waste


New Haven – Today, Senate President Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) and Representative Al Paolillo (D-New Haven) submitted testimony in opposition to Murphy Road Recycling, LLC's DEEP permit modification request to allow for the receipt and processing of putrescible waste at its site located at 19 Wheeler Street, New Haven. The text of the testimony is below

Testimony of State Senator Martin Looney and State Representative Al Paolillo

Re: DEEP Murphy Road Recycling, LLC Hearing to provide information and receive Public comment on permit for waste volume reduction facility in New Haven Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - 4 P.M.

This joint testimony is being submitted in opposition to Murphy Road Recycling, LLC's DEEP permit modification request to allow for the receipt and processing of putrescible waste at its site located at 19 Wheeler Street, New Haven.

This would include the ability for the permittee to receive and process up to 967 tons per day of the following waste materials; non-putrescible MSW, in addition to oversized MSW, putrescible MSW (wet waste/garbage), scrap metal including appliances containing CFC liquid, propane tanks without valves, cardboard, paper, commingled recyclables, gypsum wallboard and scrap tires, some of which the facility already can accept.

We join with many petitioning residents of New Haven, neighboring businesses, community leaders, the New Haven Board of Alders, the Joint City Services and Environmental Policy / Public Safety Committee and Save the Sound in opposition to this expansion.

We are opposed to expanding for the allowance of putrescible waste because this 15-acre facility is located within the watershed of the Quinnipiac River. It is also a matter of Environmental Justice. Allowing this expansion would only cause further environmental degradation and environmental health concerns in an area which is already the most distressed in New Haven.

Expanding this facility will increase New Haven’s carbon footprint in an area of the city, where it needs to be reduced not increased. We believe that allowing for this facility to be expanded would be inconsistent with DEEP Solid Waste and Materials Management Plan. It would bring more sound, air and water pollution to an area that according to the federal EPA’s Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool is within a half-mile of a neighborhood in the 88th percentile for particulate matter, 87th percentile for ozone; 84th percentile for the national air toxics assessment for diesel emissions; 90th percentile for hazardous waste proximity; 87th percentile for NATA cancer risk; and 94th percentile for Superfund proximity.

We have both heard from numerous constituents who have many serious concerns about allowing for this expansion of activities and the expanded type of organic and sanitary waste that can be accepted at this facility. One of these concerns is that the facility is within very close proximity to the Quinnipiac River (several thousand feet), which causes alarm about any kind of runoff or pollution that could occur from trash being brought in from trucks or stored at the facility. Whenever we consider environmentally sensitive areas like the Quinnipiac River, which we have made great strides in protecting, we must be smart and strategic about what we approve to be in close proximity. As caretakers of the environment, we all have the responsibility to “Do no harm.”

This project also would be detrimental to New Haven and this surrounding neighborhood as the only benefit accrues to surrounding towns in being able to have their trash come here, while New Haven's garbage is required to go to the solid waste authority on Middletown Avenue under flow control. We also don't believe it will result in positive economic impact, but rather serve as a disincentive for any other businesses to locate here. This is in addition to the concerns for local residential neighborhoods, schools, churches and other businesses nearby. Many neighbors already complain about truck noise and odors and even have had to close their windows because of odors from the area of Murphy Area Recycling.

The site at 19 Wheeler Street already is allowed to accept construction and demolition waste, oversized non-putrescible waste and recyclables. We do not oppose the continuation of that use. However, expanding to putrescible, organic and sanitary waste brings an expanded set of other circumstances, impacts and concerns.

More than anything this proposal sends the wrong messages about what we are prioritizing. For all the strides we have made to protect our environment, stimulate economic development and beautify our neighborhood, this development moves in the opposite direction.

We respectfully but urgently request that this application for permit modification be denied. Thank you for this opportunity to submit these written comments.

Sincerely,


Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney

11th District


Deputy House Majority Leader Al Paolillo

97th District



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