Fairfax supervisors vote down extension for Lorton landfill

WASHINGTON — No one wants to live near a landfill, and a long fight over whether to extend the life of one in Fairfax County came to a head Tuesday night.

The Lorton Construction Landfill is set to close by Jan. 1, 2019. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday night voted down a plan to keep it open until Dec. 31, 2025.

The plan members considered Tuesday night was a compromise with the landfill’s owner. EnviroSolutions agreed to shorten the length of time the landfill would stay open, keep its height lower than originally planned and add green energy technology to the site.

Supervisor Gerry Hyland, who represents Lorton, says the plan is a mess.

“Take off that mantle of green, pull back the layers of this proposal, and it’s like peeling an onion, it will bring tears to your eyes because there are so many questions, so many serious issues.”

Hyland was frustrated by last-minute changes made to the complicated proposal, as was Supervisor Jeff McKay.

“I’m still having a hard time understanding all these moving parts,” McKay said.

“This option, in my mind, gives developers a low-cost option for waste disposal,” said Board Chairman Sharon Bulova in support of the plan.

Also in favor was Supervisor John Cook.

“We heard unrefuted testimony that there is not capacity to handle the construction debris in Fairfax County once this landfill closes,” he said.

Cook says closing the landfill will drive up costs for developers, which will be passed on to home and business owners.

But after a long discussion, the board voted against the extension.

A crowded public hearing was held in May, and a decision by the Board was put off until June — before being delayed a second time.

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