Large Crowd Expected at Wednesday's Landfill, Rezoning Meeting
Wednesday night's Lower Saucon Township Council public hearing about whether to allow a land rezoning that would enable IESI Bethlehem Landfill to expand will likely be packed with supporters and opponents of the facility.
The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Saucon Valley High School Audion room and a large crowd is likely, given that the issue of whether or not the rezoning should be allowed has been a contentious one among some local residents.
Council meetings are normally held at Lower Saucon Town Hall, but the hearing was scheduled to be held at the school due to the expectation of a significant turnout.
At stake, among other things, are IESI's ability to operate its Lower Saucon Township facility for another decade or more, a number of jobs, and the millions of dollars in host fees and local taxes that the business currently generates.
Opponents of the landfill's expansion—many of whom live in the Steel City section of the township, near the landfill—have cited concerns over the impact a larger facility could have on the local environment and their quality of life in voicing opposition to the rezoning plan.
Supporters have argued that the township needs the revenue stream generated by its largest business to continue.
Both sides of have occasionally clashed at a number of township meetings held over the past 19 months, since IESI first announced its proposed western expansion.
Photo: IESI Bethlehem Landfill in Lower Saucon Township (file photo)