Transfer station plan in Round Lake Park delayed, but not defunct

Updated 12/4/2012 3:45 PM
  • Groot Industries Inc., has delayed filing an application to locate and operate a waste transfer facility in Round Lake Park but expects at some point to proceed with the process for property at Route 120 and Porter Drive.

      Groot Industries Inc., has delayed filing an application to locate and operate a waste transfer facility in Round Lake Park but expects at some point to proceed with the process for property at Route 120 and Porter Drive. Mick Zawislak | Staff Photographer

An application to build and operate a waste transfer station in Round Lake Park has been delayed but the company proposing the facility expects to continue its pursuit.

Groot Industries Inc. had intended to request local siting approval for the transfer station at Route 120 and Porter Drive on Nov. 30 but opted not to immediately follow through, as questions arose on various fronts.

"We wanted to give a little more time to build consensus among the parties," said Devin Moose, director of Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure, which is developing the plans for Groot and speaking on its behalf.

While there is no time frame to discuss the matter with various stakeholders, including the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County, Moose said the company wants to proceed with an outreach program and pursuit of the project.

"There's every intention to file," the application, he said.

A transfer station is a building where typical garbage trucks dump trash on a concrete floor and it is reloaded onto bigger trucks and taken to a distant landfill.

Filing for local siting approval is required by state law and triggers a quasi-judicial process in which the Round Lake Park village board holds at least one public hearing, the first being 90 to 120 days after the document is received.

The process is on hold as Groot intends to give everyone more time to be "educated on our proposal and feel comfortable with it," Moose said. What form that will take has not been determined. He disputed the notice the plan was being sneaked in.

"These processes are dictated by law. There's plenty of notice," he said.

Area residents have held at least two meetings and had planned to present petitions in opposition to the transfer station and a construction and demolition debris recycling facility, a separate facility proposed by Groot across the street on Porter Drive.

The latter has been approved by the village and is awaiting a permit from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

The notice of the intent to apply for the transfer station said only the facility would be built on about 4 acres on the northeast corner of the intersection and would be in business for a minimum of 20 years. Further detail was not included and residents said they had questions on several issues, including truck traffic, noise and potential pollution.

Moose said the company will meet with the communities and was establishing an outreach program.

"Clearly there's a lack of understanding of what the proposal is," he said.

SWALCO also had issues after learning on Nov. 13 of the transfer station notice at an IEPA public meeting regarding the recycling facility. The county's Solid Waste Management Plan, updated in 2009, allows for the siting of transfer stations as long as the requirements of the plan are met.

Those include entering into host agreements with the agency and Lake County. According to the county plan, the developer also must hold a public meeting before those agreements are finalized to show the transfer station is superior to current practices for three of four environmental parameters.

The SWALCO board agreed Nov. 29 to oppose the transfer station saying Groot had not met the plan requirements.

"I was hoping they would," delay the application, said Walter Willis, executive director of SWALCO. "I guess we're just waiting to see how they want to proceed."

Moose said the facility would be designed to handle 750 tons of nonhazardous material a day. Willis estimated 2,200 to 2,500 tons of trash are dumped each day in Lake County's two landfills.

Moose said landfill space is dwindling and there someday will be a need for several transfer stations in the county.

"We're preparing for the future," he said. "You have to get these facilities in place well before you need them."

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