"As sea levels rise, the landfills along the US coasts have become a ticking environmental time bomb. So why does the federal government have no plan to avoid this looming catastrophe?"
"Fae Saulenas knows that before long she’ll have to abandon the place she’s called home for decades. Nestled by a coastal wetland north of Boston called the Rumney Marsh Reservation, her house is a short walk from the Atlantic Ocean. In recent years, thanks in part to the climate emergency, king tides and storm surges have flooded her property. Saulenas has made peace with the fact that one day the floods will force her to leave.
But across the marsh from her sits the Wheelabrator landfill, an ever-growing pile of ash created by the landfill’s incinerator, which burns all the waste collected from the town of Saugus and its surrounding communities. For Saulenas, the knowledge that the same rising sea that will swallow her home will begin eroding that half-million-ton, 140-acre toxic ash stew disturbs the peace she’s made. Not only will she be forced to move inland, but the wetland that she loves—and that, since 1988, has been classified by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as an “area of critical environmental concern”—will be poisoned.
The landfill “was supposed to close 25 years ago,” she says, “but last November 1, they were granted another provisional five-year permit to keep dumping another 500,000 tons of incinerator trash—100,000 tons a year!”"