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Re: 3/03 Landfill Article

The FAA has objected to previous expansions for several reasons. Those reasons were never withdrawn. PA DEP simply ignored them. In fact, for the Pottstown Municipal Airport, in the most recent Airport Facility Directory it states under airport remarks: "Deer on and in vicinity of airport. Seagulls on and in vicinity of airport." Landfills draw birds and animals looking for food. As long as the waste keeps coming so will the birds and animals.

Waste Management has claimed to have remedied the bird problem. In fact at a hearing I attended, one Waste Management employee said they shoot them. Many people have very recently reported and some have even photographed large groups of seagulls at the Walmart parking lot which are very close to the airport and landfill. Seagulls and other birds follow the smell of garbage for food.

The manager of programming and planning for FAA's Airport Division said "Landfills tend to attract large numbers of scavenging birds and impact the safety of the airport. The seagull is the main bird, but there are others." Is it logical to believe that Waste Management can completely eliminate such a continuing risk to airport safety? Small planes such as those coming into the Pottstown Airport are more susceptible to bird collisions because they are slower and fly closer to the runway.

The Pottstown Landfill is only about 1 mile from the Pottstown Airport. FAA safety regulations state that landfills are to be a minimum distance of 6 miles. That makes the Pottstown Landfill about 5 miles TOO CLOSE. There is nothing Waste Management can do to change that. This distance risk can not be remedied.

The Eastern Expansion currently exceeds FAA airspace regulations. Waste Management's proposed vertical expansion would add an additional 99 feet to that risk, covering 31 acres. Total airspace violations of FAA safety regulations would be 120 feet if the proposed expansion is permitted. Tall structures of any kind should be prohibited near an airport, but especially a landfill.

Pottstown Landfill's current proposed vertical expansion would constitute an unnecessary permanent obstruction of garbage, placing pilots and the public at unnecessary permanent risk.

If you are interested in news articles or copies of FAA documents, please call ACE, leave your name, address, and phone number. (610) 326-6433

Donna Cuthbert