Solid Waste Authority recommends halting County Line landfill

The Blount County Solid Waste Authority Thursday recommended in a strongly worded letter that the Blount County Commission oppose construction of a 219-acre, 2000-tonper day landfill proposed by the town of County Line. The proposed service area for the landfill is the entire state of Alabama.

Solid Waste Authority Chairman Bob Shows appeared at Thursday’s evening commission work session to make the board’s recommendation in person. Reading the recommendation appearing in the letter, Shows told the commission that the authority recommends the commission “request the Blount County state Legislators join with the commission in their opposition and in notifying the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. The authority also recommends the commission take what other action it deems appropriate to stop this landfill.”

The commission has scheduled the subject on the agenda for discussion at its March 14 business meeting, according to District 4 Commissioner Waymon Pitts, who chaired the March 3 work session in Commission Chairman David Standridge’s absence.

The landfill is located in Blount County on a portion of the property formerly owned by the county and known as County Line Industrial Park. It was sold in 2005 to John David Calvert. The landfill site has been recently annexed by County Line.

Shows identified the following reasons why the authority opposed the landfill:

It is not needed. Adequate disposal facilities already exist to satisfy the intent of the Solid Wastes Disposal Act of 1989.

The County Line waste management plan is inconsistent with the 2003 Regional Solid Waste Needs Assessment of the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham. It is also inconsistent with the Blount County solid waste management plan.

The location is not convenient to major highways capable of handling the additional traffic.

It will put increased pressure on public services, e.g. fire, police, highway maintenance.

It will threaten public safety with increased traffic and increased risk from hazardous materials including medical wastes.

It will create negative social and economic impacts, including lowering property values.

It will act as a magnet for related undesirable industries. Public hearing set

A public hearing is scheduled at the County Line town hall for Thursday, March 10, at 6 p.m. “The public will have an opportunity to present data, views, and arguments, orally or in writing, on the proposed County Line, Alabama Waste Management Plan,” according to the notice published by the town.

The landfill would apparently be operated by a concern called Thornhill Marion Properties ( TMP). TMP is preparing plans and designs to submit to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) in connection with a permit application for the landfill.

As a part of the permitting process, the applicant is required to request a “letter of consistency” with the 2003 Regional Planning Commission’s Regional Solid Waste Needs Assessment. That letter was requested in correspondence dated Jan. 22. In a reply dated Jan. 25, the planning commission declined to issue the letter, saying that it could identify “no aditional solid waste disposal need for any of the counties in region 3” (which includes Blount County). Bentley announces landfill moratorium

In a related development, Gov. Robert Bentley on Feb. 23 issued a ban on construction or expansion of landfills in Alabama until permit rules are rewritten. Bentley said existing state rules permitting landfills do not adequately consider the negative effect landfills have on citizens beyond the immediate area around the fills.

The moratorium applies to landfills that exceed 500 acres or plan to take in more than 1500 tons of waste per day. The County Line landfill proposes to take in up to 2000 tons a day, according to the Blount County Solid Waste Authority’s letter to the county commission.