June 9th’s Special Community Townhall Meeting – One Year!
This month will mark one year; hard to believe that one year ago is when the lives of many were threatened and then either changed forever or put on hold or both …
June 2018, citizens of Cumberland county were made aware of County Waste’s and Cumberland Board of Supervisor’s (BOS) plans to have Cumberland become Virginia’s next Mega-Landfill location. A certified letter went out to home owners living nearby the proposed mega dump’s site early June and the events that followed were swift, as planned, and extremely upsetting and emotional for all people impacted. (See Timeline.) Those people were not only local homeowners but also neighboring counties, people who own land with plans of retiring in beautiful Cumberland County, people who had planned passing their home and land to their children, the historic Rosenwald School, people who enjoy the county’s land for camping, hunting and fishing, and on and on.
This proposed mega-dump was pushed by County Waste and presented as “Green Ridge Recycling and Disposal Facility”. This proposed mega-dump was publicly approved by three board members after the planning commission voted it down. It seems Cumberland County was targeted and the BOS ushered them in with arms wide open. The ambivalence shown to concerned citizens by the BOS was appalling to say the least. The feeling that citizens were not considered as people but as “part of doing business” was insulting and painful. Despite confusing comments around the matter, it became apparent that this proposed mega dump had been in the works for years (VA Mercury Article) and citizen’s concerns were not to be considered.
One local citizen went after the county’s actions by legal means (Referendum and Injunction) with fellow citizens approval; two other citizens filed rezoning appeals, assuming only to be intimidated and succumbed by corporate money. Other citizens, out of fear, which was intended, signed the gag order otherwise called “Property Assurance Program”; other citizens stood firm and said “No” to such offer. Still other citizens have many unanswered questions and live daily fearing what will become of their homes, their lands, their investments. This proposed mega-dump has ruined lives, split neighbors, created fear and uncertainly, instilled a lost faith in those voted to serve the people, a true sense of helplessness has been made known.
…and the other side…
This proposed mega-dump has joined citizens together to fight. To simply say “NO!”. NO! to both County Waste and Cumberland County. “County Waste – Not This Place!” . Citizen’s joined together to support one another, to pray for one another, determined to find a solution to put this horrific endeavor to a stop. The “plan” that was in place was soon greeted with obstacles; obstacles created by citizens who stand to say no.
Citizens formed Cumberland County Landfill Awareness which is now Cumberland County Landfill Alert (CCLA). Citizens from the Pine Grove Community ramped up efforts already in place to focus on preserving the historic school, gravesites, and community. Politicians opposed to the proposed mega-dump stepped into action. Professional citizens joined in to provide expertise as needed. Media stepped in to provide a voice to the ‘unheard’. Letters were written. A petition drawn up and signed by thousands (Sign Petition Here). Non-profit groups connected with efforts to assist and provide resources.
Many people using many methods are actively fighting this multi-state mega dump! It seems the majority are opposed to this protentional monstrosity and are saying “NO!” in unison. Odds are in the favor of the people! We must keep on doing what we’re doing! We must stand up and speak out!
June 9th will be a very special Community Townhall meeting hosted by CCLA. This will be a meeting for all who are able to attend – to share stories, connect with neighbors, have questions answered, learn about the bigger picture, what the next steps will be and all with people who are fighting to protect homes, land, water, air, quality of life, road safety, etc. It will be an open forum of sorts and we hope to have media and all non-profit members in attendance.
You are invited to attend and we’ll see you Sunday.
Special June Community Townhall Meeting – One Year Milestone
Community Center located at 11 Davenport Road in
Cumberland, VA 23040
3:00 to 5:00
Invite a neighbor, bring a friend, make goodies to share!
Monday June 10th …
Monday, June 10th is also an important date. The Waste Management Board (WMB) will be holding the first of two yearly meetings to conduct regular business. The Waste Management Board does not make a decision regarding the proposed mega dump. This board reviews the application and meets only twice a year. See this link for more information. Following this business meeting, the agenda allows for a 45 minute public forum at which time 15 speakers from the public will be able to provide comments, 3 minutes per person. This is our first opportunity at the state level to make our presence known, to go on the record, and ask questions about the process.
Please attend this meeting as this board meets only twice a year. These public hearings, meetings, etc. will be different from those we’ve attended in the past with County Waste/Cumberland County – we need to be respectful, organized, and united. To show our unison, wear your LoveCentralVA / CCLA Gray T-shirt and/or any gray shirt to show we are united. Stand when somebody speaks to show your support. Your presence will have an impact and you will not have to speak. We will be seen, heard, and documented at these meetings.
We will share more information during Sunday’s Community Townhall Meeting. If you are interested in speaking and if you plan on attending, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and possible carpooling. If you are uncomfortable speaking, show up anyway to make your presence felt to show DEQ that the public is indeed concerned.
Meeting details are below. Arrive early to allow time for parking. Monday June 10th, 10:30am. Bank of American Building, 3rd floor conference room, 111 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219.
June 11th – Cumberland County Board of Supervisors Meeting
Last year, three out of five Board of Supervisors (BOS) voted yes for allowing County Waste to come into Cumberland County with the proposed mega-dump. Once the Host Agreement was signed on August 2nd, 2018, they may have felt that their work was done and citizens would consider it a done deal. Obviously, they were mistaken as citizens are saying No! and fighting to stop this endeavor to save their water, air, way of life. Attending these monthly meetings can be emotional as some feel they “sold us out”. However, we must attend to make them aware that we are still here.
Tuesday, June 11th is the next meeting. Please check out the website for the agenda. You can sign up for meeting notifications as well. Check the website for any changes prior to the meetings.
This proposed mega-dump can still be stopped at the county level, regardless of what ‘they’ may say. One means is to vote in a new BOS this fall, a new BOS who will look for better, cleaner, more beneficial means of revenue. We’ll keep you up to date on the candidates.