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Ontario County Landfill landslide won’t cost taxpayers anything to fix: Cause still under investigation

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Ontario County officials provided additional insights into the recent landslide at the Ontario County Landfill in the town of Seneca, where approximately three and a half acres of material slid from the landfill’s southwest corner.


The incident, which occurred on November 15, fortunately did not result in any injuries. The material that slid was part of a permanent cap installed over the summer, designed to limit precipitation entering the landfill and thereby reduce gas and odor emissions.

The cause of the landslide is currently unknown, and the county is collaborating with Casella Waste Systems, the operator of the county-owned landfill, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to investigate.

County Administrator Chris DeBolt, while speaking with Rochester-area media, emphasized the importance of addressing the situation promptly, given the approaching winter season which could hinder repair efforts. He assured that there is no danger of waste escaping from the landfill, with the primary concern being the prevention of water infiltration and gas and odor release.

FingerLakes1.com reached out to DeBolt over the weekend about possible ‘state of emergency’ after reports that language used in official communication between county officials and residents indicated there was an active ‘state of emergency’.

“The County has not declared a State of Emergency in relation to the incident at the landfill last week. There have been no discussions about such a declaration to my knowledge and I do not see that it would be necessary,” DeBolt said.

Officials did confirm that the repair costs will not fall on taxpayers, as Casella is responsible for managing the landfill.

Casella has reported significant progress in moving soil since the incident and reassured the public that there has been no environmental impact or personal injuries.

They are working closely with state and county officials to determine the cause of the slide and to ensure public health and environmental safety. The focus remains on temporary solutions to manage the landfill effectively during the winter, with long-term remediation plans still under discussion.