The Milton Planning Commission has filed materials in an ongoing Act 250 hearing for local farmer Ted Beaudoin’s 262 Middle Rd. fill site to express its concerns with operations there.
The submission is part of the Vt. Agency of Natural Resources Act 250 Board’s examination of Beaudoin’s categorical waste facility that operated under an agricultural exemption until the town revised its zoning regulations in 2017.
The site was used by S.D. Ireland for depositing clean fill until the Act 250 board’s issuance of stay last month.
“Milton is not a dump site,” the planning commission’s statement says. “Milton’s Planning Commission believes the state of Vermont has insufficiently regulated the Beaudoin waste disposal site, and as a result has not protected or safeguarded the Milton public’s wellbeing.”
The PC requested Act 250 officials look into its concerns, which include possible runoff from the fill site into Malletts Creek, Beaudoin’s storing recyclable materials, the lack of a truck trip logbook, the impact of truck traffic near the property and the definition of a community facility, among other items, an Oct. 9 letter shows.
“We’ve been trying to do all kinds of stuff to make Milton better,” commissioner John Lindsay said. “We don’t have any problem with people wanting to do business, but we also want to have people do business the right way.”
According to Lindsay, Beaudoin’s property borders Malletts Creek, a tributary to Lake Champlain and a refuge for waterfowl. He feared contaminated soil like that from the former Waterbury State Office Complex – which was, unbeknownst to the town, state, Beaudoin and Ireland dumped on the site in 2014 – could be present again and pollute the waterway.
PC chairwoman Lori Donna said the facility is storing recyclable materials instead of repurposing them. The Oct. 9 letter notes commissioners observed rebar and other recyclable materials during a site visit.
“Construction debris, when it is able to be recycled, should be recycled,” she said. “What we’re trying to see here is Vermont values regarding recycling.”
Lindsay added the commission would like to see a logbook of materials placed at the site, though it was not previously required with the site’s agricultural exemption, as well as the number truck visits.
Independent monitoring at the facility would assure neighbors and the town that proper protocol for waste disposal is followed, Donna said.
“The planning commission has to look out for the wellbeing of the entire community no matter what project is before the town,” she said. “It is our intent to review Act 250 decisions if we believe that a project could have impact on our neighbors [and] our facilities.”
Part of that impact, according to Donna and Lindsay, is the scope of the work. Donna said she wasn’t sure if Miltonians are aware of the project’s size.
Per the development review board’s late July approval of the facility, S.D. Ireland would be permitted to fill around 10.5 acres of the 59.37-acre property, the company’s general manager of construction and development Patrick O’Brien told the Independent in a July 30 email.
According to planning director Victor Sinadinoski, the DRB limited fill at the site to 400 tons annually before the town passed new zoning regulations. With its July 27 approval — provided the developer obtains zoning and act 250 permits — no more than 400 truck trips will be allowed per month.
Sinadinoski said large parcels in that area of town are meant to minimize developments’ impact on natural resources.
“So having one concentrated site that’s not following proper procedures makes a lot of that [conservation intent] superfluous,” Lindsay said.
The memo was meant to make a statement about “the best interest of our community and not targeted at the individuals coming forward with this project,” Donna said.
“If through this whole process the town and the state and S.D. Ireland and Beaudoin can come to middle ground, I think that’s going to be the best for all worlds,” Lindsay added.
The Act 250 board has requested Beaudoin and S.D. Ireland submit all supplemental materials for review by November 15; all other parties must submit by November 30. All materials will be considered in the board’s final verdict for the Act 250 permit application.