Landfill exemption said 'inappropriate'

Friday, July 4, 2008

Lewisburg's City Council is returning to a couple of hot topics Tuesday: The landfill vote exempting expansion plans from city review, and suspension of regularly scheduled times for public comment.

The council will convene Tuesday at 6 p.m. in City Hall at 131 East Church St. Time for "citizen input" at Council meetings was suspended last month because of reactions to one man's recurring allegations. However, there are probably hundreds of people interested in the landfill issue.

A public hearing on the landfill may be required, under one scenario, even though there was a Council vote to exempt the Cedar Ridge expansion from further local review.

Waste Management Inc. wants to use the last remaining area at Cedar Ridge Landfill for burial of garbage. To do so, it must get a state permit. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation won't issue such a permit without approval from nearby governments that adopt state standards for considering landfill operations.

The Council adopted Tennessee's Jackson Law in May, but last month it voted for a resolution to exempt expansion of Cedar Ridge. Reasons given for the exemption included time to be ready when the landfill is full -- either 13 months from now, or in about five years, depending on deliveries and whether the expansion is permitted.

Incorporating state law on landfills into city code must be accomplished by a vote with a two-thirds margin, and there was only one nay vote on that in May, so the required margin was met.

However, in June, the resolution to change the previous resolution on the Jackson Law was supported by three of the four members of the Council who voted. A fifth member, Councilwoman Betsy Shelton, abstained.

If Shelton is not counted as participating, the motion passed ...Pick up a copy of today's edition, Friday, July 4 2008, for the complete story.