ESI’s proposal to expand the Lorton Landfill by as much as 25 million tons and extend its operations to 2034 is NOT a green energy plan. The Green Energy Park is a Trojan horse stratagem to hide its landfill expansion and extension.
The facts of this issue speak for themself and they don’t lead to a conclusion that ESI is promoting green energy. ESI’s sole interest is to continue to bury Construction and Demolition Debris (CDD) waste at the site for another 20 years – 55 percent of which comes from out-of-state. For decades to come, this waste will generate hundreds of thousands of tons of methane, a greenhouse gas that is 21 times as potent as CO2 and far outstripping the alleged benefits of their green energy park. Even the Sierra Club national organization opposes landfilling to justify methane recovery projects because they capture only a third of the gas emissions generated.
ESI is not in the energy business and has no interest in the energy business. That fact is evident when examining the “green energy” elements they are promoting. While ESI is touting facets of its green energy plan, the only elements ESI has committed to is the construction of three wind turbines and solar panels placed at what was to be its recycling center across the street from the landfill. And, if ESI so desires, it can buy its way out of providing the three wind turbines, the methane recovery system, and the geothermal system. This is NOT a green energy plan and should not justify such a massive expansion and extension of the Lorton Landfill.
Today the trend across the country and this region is to recycle CDD materials. Arlington County is promoting and encouraging this through its site plan process and the District of Columbia has enacted CDD recycling mandates. Supervisor Hyland has submitted an initiative to mandate recycling of CDD waste in Fairfax County consistent with LEED design standards. The fact is that more than 85 percent of the material going into the Lorton Landfill could be recycled and thus eliminate methane emissions and vastly reduce CO2 emissions from the production of new metals, plastics and wood products. Construction material recycling facilities are in close proximity and provide a real alternative to burying the material.
Every citizen supports true green energy alternatives in Fairfax County. We could be a leader in this field without expanding a landfill. ESI’s proposal does not even come close to a net green benefit to the environment.
I urge you to contact the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors and your local supervisor to tell them Fairfax County would be better served promoting CDD recycling by adopting policies that encourage it and not the expansion and burying of CDD materials for another 20 years.
Bill Lynch, I-95 Business Parks Management, Lorton