Supervisors still considering whether to make changes at Washington landfill

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 28, 2000

After listening to concerns from the public Monday, Adams County supervisors say they must do some thinking about proposed changes to a landfill in the Washington area.

&uot;I think everyone of us will be doing some research,&uot; said board President Virginia Salmon. &uot;We have some work to do.&uot;

Supervisors held the public hearing because G.R. Disposal is requesting permission to dispose of additional wood products at its Cedar Grove Plantation site.

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For the past six months, the company has been disposing of nontoxic de-inking sludge from Mississippi River Corp.’s Natchez plant at the site.

G.R. Disposal now wants to expand its operations to include disposal of a cellulose product called sludge from International Paper’s Natchez mill.

Despite earlier discussions, the company no longer wants to dispose of fly ash from Georgia Pacific’s Gloster plant at the site, business owner Gerry Winters said.

G.R. Disposal is under a noncompetitive agreement with Adams County Waste Management that prohibits disposal of the fly ash, Winters said.

At Monday’s hearing, business owners Winters and Hyde &uot;Rusty&uot; Jenkins assured members of the public that the site modifications would not endanger their health.

&uot;We’re not going to do anything that would jeopardize our permit&uot; with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Jenkins said. &uot;We’re not going to do anything that will jeopardize the environment.&uot;

The company only wants to use the site to dispose of nontoxic wood products, Winters said.

But area residents say they are concerned about the landfill’s odor, water contamination and the possibility of landslides at the site.

Frank Heathman, who lives about 3,000 feet from the landfill, complained about the odor, which he compared to the smell of sewage.

&uot;Is (the sludge) going to make it smell 10 times that bad?&uot; Heathman said. &uot;I’m personally concerned about that, mainly.&uot;

Area resident James R. Dinger said he was worried International Paper’s sludge &uot;cocktail&uot; would have an effect on his private water well, now and in the future.

&uot;Who’s going to responsible for the liability 20 years down the road?&uot; he said.

Gary Holloway had similar concerns. &uot;What we do to that water aquifer irreversible,&uot; he said.

Charles Carlton told the board he was concerned that the contents of various dumping &uot;cells&uot; at the site might slide into one another, causing water pollution.

&uot;Please count to 10 before you say ‘yes’ to anything else,&uot; Carlton said. &uot;There’s no question in my mind in due time … this material will begin to trickle into the Mississippi River.&uot;

But no matter what the Adams County Board of Supervisors decide G.R. Disposal must also receive approval from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality to dispose of the sludge.

The company has also not finalized any plans with International Paper, Winters said.

And the future of International Paper, which is currently for sale, does not hinge on the use of this landfill, said Supervisor Lynwood Easterling.