Public comments sought on landfill expansion plan

Friday, September 28, 2012

By Clint Confehr

Senior Staff Writer

Marshall County commissioners have scheduled a public hearing next month to get area residents' comments on whether Waste Management's plan to expand Cedar Ridge Landfill meets state standards.

The 5:30 p.m. Oct. 22 hearing precedes county commissioners' monthly meeting in the Courthouse Annex where they're to vote on whether the 177-acre expansion plan complies with criteria listed in the Jackson Law.

In May 2007, commissioners voted by a two-to-one margin saying they believed Waste Management met state standards so expansion should be permitted on 11 acres surrounded by landfill operations.

Now, the question is whether the company's plan to expand trash burial onto 177 acres is in compliance with the Jackson Law. The 177-acre tract was purchased by Waste Management in December 2006 when the company said it was to be a source of dirt to cover daily disposal of trash. Subsequently, the company sought to develop a new landfill at Cornersville, abandoned that plan and refocused its attention on Cedar Ridge.

If commissioners conclude Waste Management's plans for the 177-acre tract comply with the Jackson Law, then the company's request for a state permit would be forwarded to the Maury Marshall Solid Waste Authority, which must decide whether expansion complies with the region's plan for solid waste disposal. Thereafter, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's Solid Waste Division would be asked for a permit to expand Cedar Ridge Landfill operations onto the 177 acres.

The eight environmental criteria are as follows.

* The type of waste to be buried must be suitable. It can include commercial, municipal, landscaping and land clearing wastes, as well as waste from farms, industries, construction and demolition sites, and state approved special waste.

Sludge from sewage treatment plants and aluminum dross from smelting will not be accepted, according to a Waste Management official.

* The method of disposal must be in compliance with state law. Part of that requires daily cover of rubbish with dirt. The dirt for this purpose has been coming from the 177-acre expansion tract.

* The impact from noise and odor is to be reduced by limiting operations to 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and not on most federal holidays unless there's an emergency. Odor from the landfill is by containing collection of leachate, liquids buried with trash.

* The impact of the landfill's expansion is not to adversely impact property values in the area. Company officials have conducted studies to show values didn't drop because of the landfill.

* Cedar Ridge Landfill's main entrance is on Mooresville Highway. It's being widened between Interstate 65 and Lewisburg's fire hall on West Commerce Street. Waste Management says that's an adequate road for landfill traffic.

* Economic impact of the landfill includes the company's operation of the county's four convenience centers. The company pays host fees and provides free dumping to Lewisburg.

* The landfill must meet land zoning codes. Commissioners granted that Monday.

* Other factors are to be considered.