PEPPERELL -- A controversial soil reclamation project proposed on Nashua Road is still being soured upon by town officials and residents despite a significant reduction to the plans.
Town Administrator Andrew MacLean presented an update on the status of the project during the Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday.
The project comes from Massachusetts Composting Group Inc., which owns the landfill on 161 Nashua Road and wanted to dump approximately 4-million-cubic yards of discarded soil into it.
Though the company sees the project as reclaiming a former quarry it owns, officials and residents see it as an act of storing unusable soil.
The town sent a letter to the state's Department of Environmental Protection, stating its opposition to the project back in February.
Besides general opposition, the town also filed an appeal against a decision made by the town Zoning Board of Appeals that overturned a determination made by Building Inspector Robert Kelly.
Terra Environmental, LLC presented the updated plans and a letter on behalf of MCGI to the town on March 18.
According to MacLean, the overall scale of the project has been reduced by 25 percent.
The letter from Terra details two significant reductions to the project: the proposed height has been scaled back from 380 feet to 299.5 feet and the amount of soil to be dumped has been reduced from approximately four million cubic yards to approximately three million cubic yards.
The company also plans to submit monthly reports on the project to the DEP while MCGI has offered to hire an independent third-party consultant to collect and test samples of the soil once a month.
Five groundwater-monitoring devices will be installed at the site, selectmen will be allowed to inspect the site at any time during business hours and Terra will also provide selectmen with monthly inspection reports.
Terra claims the project will take between seven to nine years and looks to meet with town officials to answer further questions.
MacLean said that the town remains in opposition to the project. The town will also have its first pre-conference meeting in Massachusetts Land Court on April 4 to discuss the appeal against the ZBA.
Representatives for Terra and MCGI did not return requests for comment.