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Florida officials to reject permit for controversial landfill near Dade City for second time

The state Department of Environmental Protection has said it plans to reject a new proposal by Angelo's Aggregate Materials to build a politically unpopular private landfill in east Pasco.

The move reaffirms a 2009 decision by the department that rejected the request, citing risks that a sinkhole could open below the landfill and send waste into drinking water aquifers and the nearby Green Swamp.

Angelo's, owned by the Iafrate family, was appealing that decision.

During the appeal, it cut the initial size of the landfill from 90 acres to 30. It also argued that a further study of nearby landfills shows the risk is minimal.

In a statement, DEP Secretary Herschel Vinyard said the new proposal "does not provide reasonable assurance that environmental and human health will be protected."

Vinyard said the company's request received a "fair and thorough review by a team of engineering and geological experts."

John Arnold, a project manager for Angelo's, said in a statement that he is "surprised and deeply disappointed" by the decision.

He said the project is on a "high and dry" site 175 feet above sea level.

He also said groundwater under the site flows away from Tampa Bay Water wellfields and from the Hillsborough River.

Pasco has not taken a position on the DEP permit, though several commissioners have said they think the proposed landfill is a bad idea.

Besides environmental concerns, Commissioner Ted Schrader has questioned the need for the new landfill.

The cities of Tampa and Temple Terrace have opposed the landfill, as have Zephyrhills and Dade City.

A version of this story appears in some regional editions of the Times.

Florida officials to reject permit for controversial landfill near Dade City for second time 01/05/12 [Last modified: Thursday, January 5, 2012 9:32pm]
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