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Seneca Falls board approves local permit for Seneca Meadows Landfill

Seneca Meadows has had local permits approved by the Seneca Falls Town Board.

SMI has faced criticism for the hazards its landfill poses to human health and the environment, including the production of 200,000 gallons of polluted leachate containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

For its part, Seneca Meadows has denied having a negative environmental impact.

The untreated leachate is transported to other locations in the state where there is no mechanism for removing the PFAS before it enters the air or water supply.

Environmental groups also say the landfill has been linked to respiratory illness, asthma, and migraine headaches due to airborne particulates and unseen gasses. This has also been denied by Seneca Meadows.

Despite this, SMI has filed documents with the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to add 47 acres of new landfill space and extend its operations until 2040. This expansion would make the landfill the tallest in the state at 37 stories.

The Seneca Falls Town Board approved the local permit for SMI following the 2021 election, in which the company spent over $200,000.

In 2019, SMI also made contributions that environmental groups say secured seats of pro-landfill board members.

The landfill had previously been scheduled to close in 2025, but that decision was made by local officials who were defeated in subsequent elections.