Landfill opponents argue against state expansion permit

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Landfill closure is preferable, despite a proposed trash disposal fee. Capping a sinkhole won't work and the state has failed to monitor the landfill. Damage from a landfill can't be repaired.

Those opinions are expressed in three letters to the state director of solid waste in the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. TDEC Commissioner Jim Fyke has tentatively decided against permitting the expansion.

He's told letter writers there are three courses of action at this point. They are: to grant the expansion permit, deny it, or extend the public comment period. What might otherwise appear to be the last comment period has drawn nearly 700 letters of which 97 percent support expansion.

The three opinions against expansion are among 19 with a similar position. Most of the others have been reported previously.

"My property is adjacent to the landfill," Kathy Garrett wrote to TDEC. "You have heard of the 'Garrett seep' where there is pollution coming out of the landfill that has not been corrected. This seep is on our family farm... There have been several times when the landfill has polluted the streams.

"Why would you allow an expansion (especially when a sinkhole is part of the requested area) with the history Waste Management has of pollution?"

Katherine S. Fox of Claude Fox Road, Cornersville, said there's no way to prevent a sinkhole from re-forming, so Waste Management's plan to cap the sinkhole on its expansion area will fail.

"The state has failed to monitor Waste Management's pollution of our groundwater here in Marshall County and (expansion) would only add to the abuse the state has incurred by Waste Management," Fox wrote.

Mandy Hargrove of Forrest Run Drive says she's been following the on-going events in the Tribune and says it's a good idea to close the landfill, but she's concerned about the prospect of a fee for trash service, so she suggests recycling.