Omya needs permit to dump in Pittsford    
John Dillon    

COLCHESTER, VT (2003-11-21)    

(Host) State environmental officials have ruled that the Omya Corporation needs a solid waste permit to dump waste material in abandoned quarries in Pittsford.

The decision by Environmental Conservation Commissioner Jeffrey Wennberg reverses a preliminary ruling Wennberg made this fall.

Omya uses calcium carbonate ore to make paint pigment and other industrial products. The ore is treated with chemical additives and preservatives.

But the chemicals also end up in the waste material. Wennberg says the chemicals have leached through to groundwater and may pose a threat to public health.

Pat Parenteau, a professor at Vermont Law School, represents several families in Pittsford who have pushed the state to require the permit. He says he's pleased with Wennberg's decision.

(Parenteau) Now the question will become what kind of certificate will be issued and what kind of safeguards to make sure this waste will not pose a threat to groundwater or other environmental conditions.

(Host) The state also required Omya to get a dam permit to make sure the material is stored safely.