State approves Cedar Ridge landfill expansion permit

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation issued a permit approving the expansion of the Cedar Ridge landfill on Mooresville Highway.

The state sent out an e-mail on Friday announcing the decision, closing a 45-day public comment period and five years of simmering tensions and hard feelings.

A public hearing on the expansion was held on June 8 at the Lewisburg Recreation Center

The TDEC representatives at the public meeting made it very clear that the only grounds for denying the permit that they could consider were technical in nature.

The decision to allow the expansion had been made at the city and county level in 2012.

The hearing itself was like digging in the coals of a campfire the next morning, there was still some heat left but the fire had already spent its energy.

Several people spoke in favor of the expansion, citing what a good member of the community Waste Management had been, funding scholarships and other activities.

Some people spoke against the expansion, citing concerns for the environment and water in the county or the smell from the landfill on certain days.

In the response to public comments included in the permit approval, TDEC noted the favorable comments as “general non-technical statements” not requiring a response from the state.

Responses opposing the expansion went into more detail, but generally cited engineering or hydrological studies showing that the landfill was in compliance with state regulations.

Barring any technical reasons not to approve, TDEC did what they made clear that state law required them to do and approved the expansion.

The approval clears the way for an additional 46.6 acres at the site to be added for additional landfill space.

Estimates are that the extra space could add another 15 to 20 years of capacity to the site.

A copy of the final permit is available for review in the Marshall County Memorial Library Lewisburg branch.