TDEC mulling increased protection at landfill

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is apparently going to ask Waste Management Inc. for more environmental protections if it's to permit increased use of land at Cedar Ridge Landfill.

Company officials have received permission from Lewisburg and Marshall County for the use of property at the landfill where a sinkhole would be capped, according to plans described during meetings and hearings during the past year.

While careful not to predict when TDEC might issue a state permit, if at all, Waste Management Landfill Development Director Glenn Youngblood in November told the City Council that if his previous experience applies to this situation, then the expansion permit might be issued in June.

"We are in the process of drafting a letter to Waste Management Inc., highlighting some concerns we have about the hydrology of the site," TDEC spokeswoman Meg Lockhart said Friday. "It's my understanding that this is primarily a karst terrain, which will require additional measures of protection."

Karst topography includes caves and waterways between them.

"A decision has not yet been made" on Waste Management's request for permission to expand its use of the land at Cedar Ridge where garbage has been dumped for decades, Lockhart said.

Late last year, Waste Management officials said there was space at the landfill that might accommodate disposal there for perhaps another year. That, however, depends on the volume of trash deposited and then buried there on a daily basis.

If the requested permit is granted, then the space available could last 6-8 years, again, depending on the rate of deliveries, company officials have said.

Meanwhile, county commissioners have expressed an interest in arequirement for an Environmental Impact Statement on storm water flowing from Cedar Ridge Landfill.