Lorton landfill owner offers to reduce extension proposal; opponents criticize plan


File: Construction debris is dumped, sorted, crushed and plowed at Lorton Construction Debris Landfill, owned by EnviroSolutions. (Dayna Smith/For The Washington Post)

EnviroSolutions, the waste company behind a controversial application to extend the life of an industrial landfill in Lorton, announced Friday that it is willing to reduce the scope of its project in the spirit of compromise.

Opponents, however, say the two sides are still very far apart after a mediation group met several times without reaching an agreement.

In an e-mailed news release, the Manassas-based company said it submitted an amendment to its application that would close the landfill in 2034, or six years earlier than it had sought. The landfill is currently slated to close in 2018.

EnviroSolutions also said that it has agreed to keep the mountain of construction debris that overlooks Interstate 95 to under 412 feet and that the company remains committed to making the site a hub for green energy technology.

“ESI has always placed a high priority on being a good neighbor and a great corporate citizen,” Conrad Mehan, the company’s lobbyist, said in the release. “As part of our commitment to Fairfax County and Lorton, we listened to the community and we responded with meaningful modifications to our proposal.”

In a sign of how far away an actual compromise actually is, the lead community group opposed to the project took issue with every point in the company’s statement.

Nicholas Firth, president of the South County Federation, said his group offered its own compromises during a series of mediation group meetings arranged by Sharon Bulova, chairman of the county’s board of supervisors, which appears to be split on the issue.

Among other things, the community group agreed to allow EnviroSolutions to keep the site open until 2022, and expressed a willingness to let the company out of a legal agreement to leave behind a rural park when the site does close, Firth said.

Firth said EnviroSolutions did not accept those offers and, instead, moved forward with its amended plan.

“We went in good faith,” Firth said, about the mediation talks. “We were the only ones who made an offer when we were in there.”

On March 26, a few days after the two sides last met, EnviroSolutions submitted its amended proposal to county staff, the company said.

Antonio covers government, politics and other regional issues in Fairfax County. He worked in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago before joining the Post in September of 2013.
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