As a resident of Appomattox County, I oppose the waste transfer station planned for Concord, Virginia.

To begin, it seems that our community was intentionally kept in the dark until the last minute. Only the minimal required by law was done to notify the adjacent landowners. The rest of us learned from frantic neighbors knocking on doors or the “Dump the Dump” Facebook group. For some reason, the proposal is being quickly pushed through.

In my opinion, just because something is lawful, doesn’t make it right, and according to the EPA manual (United States Environmental Protection Agency), “Waste Transfer Stations: A Manual for Decision Making” (pg. 14-15), the proper process for building a waste transfer facility is to include the community from the beginning. It states (pg. 11-12), “Establishing credibility and trust with the public is as important as addressing environmental, social, and economic concerns about the solid waste facility.”

It also states (pg. 11), “A siting process that includes continuous public participation is integral to developing a transfer station. The public must be a legitimate partner in the facility siting process to integrate community needs and concerns and to influence the decision-making process. Addressing public concerns is also essential to building integrity and instituting good communications with the community.”

So I ask our county officials, “Why was this not done?” I’d also like to know if they did their due diligence in reviewing the Concord site to be sure it was the most suitable for the facility. Likewise, can they unequivocally say that it is indeed the BEST site in the county for a waste transfer station?

The research I’ve seen shows that most facilities of this type are placed in industrial zoned areas away from homes. They are only located near neighborhoods when there is a shortage of land such as in urban areas. Professionals recommend that an outside engineering firm specializing in solid waste be hired to evaluate the appropriateness of any site before a decision is made.

The EPA states (pg. 7), “While the planning and siting phases of facility development might involve a significant investment of resources, this initial investment is crucial to ensuring an appropriate project outcome sensitive to the host community.” In our case, it seems the developer is steering the decision process.

The quality of life for the Concord community and historical Appomattox County will be drastically changed if our supervisors’ vote to approve this facility. Contrary to what we’ve been told, from what I’ve read, in my opinion, our homes will be devalued because of increased truck traffic (nearly 100 a day), noise and odors. This devaluing will lower tax revenue, thereby making the financial impact nowhere near what has been stated.

In fact, it’s incredible that our officials would consider selling us out for such minimal financial gain and especially for garbage. Our families and community deserve better.

- Cheryl Job, Concord