Cape Cod Commission Approves Expansion Plans for Polluting Bourne Ash Landfill


September 29, 2021 (BOURNE, MA) – The Cape Cod Commission has approved plans to expand the Bourne Ash Landfill. The polluting facility mainly buries incinerator ash from Covanta’s SEMASS incinerator in Rochester, Massachusetts as well as some municipal solid waste from the Cape. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and Sierra Cape Cod released the following statements in response.

“Bourne is trading short-term economic gain for long-term pollution,” said Kirstie Pecci, Director of CLF’s Zero Waste Project. “The Bourne Landfill is already leaching toxic garbage juice into groundwater, and this expansion will only make matters worse. It’s time to stop looking for more places to bury waste and get serious about reducing trash before it reaches incinerators and landfills.”

The landfill is already a dangerous source of PFAS, it is hindering climate goals, and disincentivizing Cape towns from adopting zero waste programs like composting. This decision also flies in the face of the commission’s own solid waste and climate goals.

“The Cape Cod Commission has committed to reducing solid waste and climate-damaging emissions,” said Chris Powicki of Sierra Cape Cod. “Instead, after making no effort to support proven zero waste solutions, the Commission rubber-stamped the expansion of one of the largest methane emitters on the Cape, knowing this also would enable long-term SEMASS operation.”

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection will now begin reviewing the expansion proposal and is expected to open a public comment period soon.

Experts are available for further comment.