Temporary posting causes confusion
A temporary posting on Riverbend Landfill’s website, claiming DEQ approval of a mechanically stabilized berm that's actually still under review, caused a stir among landfill opponents Monday afternoon.
It's hard to say who was more surprised to see the notice on Waste Management's website: DEQ officials, landfill opponents or the company itself. They were all taken aback, because, in fact, the berm has not been approved.
Jackie Lang, the company's regional director of communications, said it was posted by mistake and she had it removed as soon as she found out.
She said a new writer under contract with the company added two sentences to the bottom of a long-standing story on the site detailing the company's berm plans. Lang said it was not a banner announcement, but rather the addition of the following two sentences:
"The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has approved draft applications for the construction of the Riverbend berm and is beginning a public comment period regarding the proposal. Your support is important in order to ensure that the Riverbend facilities continue to serve the waste and recycling needs of Yamhill County."
Waste Management said it was an honest mistake stemming from a misunderstanding. The company said it had no inside line on DEQ intentions.
The agency seconded that. Asked if a decision had already been made, DEQ permit engineer Bob Schwarz said, "That is absolutely not true."
Schwarz said Waste Management had been hoping to secure berm approval in time for its January’s community meeting, but said:
“We’re just not there yet. There are still some unresolved issues.”