Landfill expansion request forwarded to state

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Editor's note: The following story was inadvertently omitted from Friday's paper. It is reprinted here in its entirety.

The regional panel supervising a state-required plan for disposal of garage and other solid waste has forwarded a request for expansion of Cedar Ridge Landfill to sate environmental regulators.

"This body needs to send it on to Nashville and TDEC (Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) to go through the technical review," Marshall County Commissioner Joe B. Brandon said last week shortly after the vote on his motion.

Waste Management Inc., owners and operators of Cedar Ridge Landfill just west of Lewisburg, sought approval last summer to use 11 acres at the landfill where trash has not previously been deposited. Permission was simultaneously sought from TDEC and the Marshall-Maury Regional Solid Waste Board. The board must act before TDEC can formally proceed.

"They have the technical expertise," Brandon said of TDEC's review process.

Cedar Ridge spokeswoman Terri Douglas reacted to the board's decision saying, "We're very pleased with the outcome of the vote during the meeting and with the support for our expansion project."

Cedar Ridge Landfill has attracted considerable local attention in recent years. Metal shavings from one of Waste Management's industrial customers smoldered over the 2006 Easter holiday, filling nearby valleys with smoke, according to Bob Hopkins, the county's emergency management director.

Years earlier, previous owners of the landfill weren't required to line the dumping grounds with plastic and/or clay, so there have been widespread concerns that liquids seeping from the area may have polluted nearby waters. Waste Management has taken steps to address such issues, but residents' concerns have prompted action by their elected leaders and some of that was evident in Columbia during the regional solid waste board meeting.

Commissioners Larry McKnight and Don Ledford abstained from voting on Waste Management's request. Weeks before the meeting...

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