Lorton landfill may not shut down by 2018

LORTON, Va. (WJLA) - What you are seeing here is a sample of the wall and what it would look like behind the community. Nick Firth is the president of the South County Federation of Homeowner Groups, and says that neighbors are outraged by the proposal to extend the life of the landfill.

“This is an issue of how can you trust any application and application if the wording that is put in the contract will not be honored?” he asks.

That is because several years ago, residents agreed to allow the landfill to grow in height – as long as the site’s owner, EnviroSolutions, agreed to shut it down by 2018 and build a park in its place to go along with the revitalization of the Lorton community.

However, as the deadline draws closer, the company is asking for an extension to keep it open for 16 more years, proposing to build a renewable energy park on top of the landfill instead of the park. It’s a decision that EnviroSolutions says they were forced into when the county reversed its decision to accept ownership of the land because of liability concerns.

"We are unhappy the reversal occurred -- we were always fully committed to that park," says Conrad Mehan with EnviroSolutions Government Affairs and Community Relations.

However, the county is arguing that they didn’t feel the original deal was negotiated in good faith, asking the company to create a liability policy – but the company reportedly refused.

EnviroSolutions insists it has compromised on several occasions, including reducing the height of the landfill. Now, they are also proposing to build a 70-foot vegetative berm, adding new concerns for area neighbors who consider the last-minute changes and refusals a broken promise.

Dozens signed up to speak their mind about the landfill on Tuesday evening. They want it shut down, and plan to voice their opinions at the public hearing in Fairfax County.