Supervisors approve landfill modifications

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 19, 2000

In a move that shocked some county officials Monday, the Adams County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to approve disposal of a cellulose byproduct at a landfill in Washington.

&uot;I truly sympathize for the residents out there in terms of modifying the perimeters of what’s being stored (at the landfill),&uot;&160;said Supervisor Darryl Grennell. &uot;To be honest with you, I was somewhat shocked it was approved by this board.&uot;

The board’s decision marks the next step in plans by a Natchez-based company to modify what it disposes at its landfill at Cedar Grove Plantation.

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G.R. Disposal already disposes of deinking sludge from Mississippi River Corporation’s Natchez plant at the site but plans to expand its operations.

Monday’s vote opens the door for the company to seek approval from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality to dispose of the cellulose byproduct called sludge from International Paper’s Natchez mill.

The matter has been strongly debated in recent weeks.

After a public hearing on the subject, more than 400 Washington property owners submitted a petition opposed to the change. They cited concerns of decreases in property value, landfill odors and damage to the underground water system.

For these reasons, Supervisors Grennell and Lynwood Easterling voted against the change.

&uot;My big concern is the ‘what if’ factor,&uot; Easterling said. &uot;I’m not happy with anything that could disturb our water table.&uot;

Supervisors Thomas &uot;Boo&uot; Campbell, Sammy Cauthen Virginia Salmon voted in support of it.

The supervisors in favor of the change say they look at it in terms of economic development.

&uot;It’s not a real good message to send to industry (not to approve the landfill changes),&uot; Cauthen said.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors cannot say to a perspective company it wants your business and jobs &uot;but if you have a byproduct you have to address that with Louisiana and Alabama,&uot; Cauthen said.

Board president Virginia Salmon shared similar thoughts.

She does not want officials with a perspective company to think county officials &uot;want us to come there and employ people but they won’t let us take care of our whole operation,&uot; she said.

And both Cauthen and Salmon reiterated Monday’s vote just modifies the Natchez-Adams County Solid Waste Management Plan. The decision still requires approval from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.

&uot;I’m certain that if there was anything dangerous about it the DEQ would not give (G.R. Disposal) the permit to start with,&uot; Cauthen said.

The supervisors voted Monday decision after having a question and answer period with an engineer with G.R. Disposal.