Groundbreaking at RI Landfill; Lawsuit at RI Landfill - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

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Groundbreaking at RI Landfill; Lawsuit at RI Landfill

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by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis

mcurtis@abc6.com

Ground was broken at the Rhode Island central landfill for a new leachate pre–treatment plant.

The plan is that any liquid runoff will be treated to remove dangerous nitrogen, before it gets to Narragansett Bay.

"Part of our mission structure is to provide not only safe and cost effective, but environmentally compliant services for the citizens of Rhode Island," said Michael O'Connell, CEO of Rhode Island Resource Recovery.

The project could create upwards of 200 jobs, and officials say Rhode Island could sell the technology overseas.

"We could get out there to Beijing and Shanghai and get down there and get some of these technologies to India and some of these developing countries," said Gov. Lincoln Chafee, (D-RI).

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "Construction here is already underway with a projected completion date of perhaps in early 2015, but already there is come controversy."

For years water coming out of the landfill has been treated by the City of Cranston.

Now Cranston is suing for repayment.

"Cranston has spent a great deal of money. I would allege that it is in the millions. We'll get into that more in the lawsuit. But we feel we are owed in the millions of dollars," said Evan Kirshenbaum, Deputy Cranston Solicitor.

Landfill operators will dispute that in court.

"Anything that we owe, we pay our obligations. They just have to demonstrate it. They haven't been able to. We don't believe we owe," said Michael O'Connell of RI Resource Recovery.

Needless to say, Cranston's Mayor did not attend the landfill groundbreaking.

The lawsuit now heads to Superior Court, and ABC6 News has been told the total bill Cranston wants paid, could reach $10 million dollars.

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