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* This article first appeared in The Times Herald-Record on February 15, 2000. Used by permission.




Legislator to bury dump rumors

GOSHEN: An Orange County legislator wants another shovelful of dirt on the grave of the county's search for a garbage dump.

By Christopher Mele
The Times Herald-Record

Jeffrey Berkman, D-Middletown, has introduced a resolution that would declare "null and void" 17 sites the county once eyed for potential dump sites.

The county had declared those sites dead and its search discontinued four years ago. However, the issue resurfaced recently when an environmental activist mailed thousands of postcards warning that the county could dust off the sites or pitch them to a private trash hauler. The mailings have attracted the attention of county leaders, including County Executive Joseph G. Rampe.

Rampe departed from the prepared text of his State of the County address last week to denounce the mailings, which tout a "garbage conspiracy."

"The pamphlets are the real garbage,'' Rampe said.

Berkman acknowledged that the county has disavowed the sites, but said there's no harm in nailing the dump-search coffin shut. It would bring finality to the issue and reassure the public, he said.

"The study of these locations is obsolete and contrary to public policy,'' Berkman said. "Landfills should explicitly be rejected from all government consideration."

The county exports its trash to a Pennsylvania dump.

Legislature Chairman Richard L. Hansen, R-Unionville, said Berkman's idea is redundant given that the county long ago abandoned a dump-site search. Still, he said he would refer the resolution to legislative committees for their consideration.


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