Proposed landfill divides community

MADISON COUNTY — Homeowner Sylvia Thomas calls a proposed landfill in Madison County an “environmental injustice.”

George French, a consultant for local businesses, calls it an economic development necessity.

The Clarion-Ledger reported the two were among about 80 residents from Madison and Hinds counties attending a public hearing at Tougaloo College sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality on the NCL Waste, LLC municipal landfill on North County Line Road.

The hearing last night was called to address a technical environmental issue: Whether there should be a 250-foot buffer separating the site from all adjacent property lines or a 500-foot setback, as recommended by DEQ staff.

Either doesn’t matter to Thomas, president of a homeowners association. She said the 140 families living within miles of the site don’t want a landfill.

“Do not permit this facility,” Thomas said, emphasizing that the site would be the second on North County Line Road and the third in Madison County.

Another landfill brings environmental and health concerns, plus added infrastructure problems and complications from stench, rodents and buzzards, Thomas said.

French, however, said, the landfill is needed because of Madison County’s steady growth.

“Without an additional landfill, several economic development projects in Madison County will be stymied,” he said.

Comments from the hearing will be presented to MDEQ’s Permit Board, which rules on the environmental permits needed for the project to move forward.

Permit manager Lynn Chambers said the board will likely consider the setback distance in March and final approval could come by the end of 2012.

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