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franklin county times

Landfill withdraws expansion request

In a Sept. 8 letter issued by Franklin County Land Management Inc., to the Franklin County Commission, FCLM withdrew its request seeking major permit modifications to expand and change the nature of the Franklin County landfill.

The changes were being sought for ADEM SWDF Permit No. 30-04.

The letter, signed by Neil Hargett, president of FCLM, reads in part,

“At this time, Franklin County Land Management Inc., withdraws its previously filed application from further consideration by the Franklin County Commission.

“This application withdrawal does not waive, release or otherwise in any way prevent or bar Franklin County Land Management Inc. from refiling said application at a future date.”

As a result of the withdrawal, the Sept. 22 public hearing to consider public comments about the proposed changes has been canceled. Thirty-three people were scheduled to speak.

CHANGES SOUGHT

The changes, had they been approved as requested, would have allowed for expansion of the facility’s service area to include all cities and counties in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, as well as an increase in the facility’s acreage for waste disposal from 45 acres to a maximum of 467 acres.

The expansion would have also allowed for an increase in the facility’s maximum average daily volume to 1,000 tons per day, as well as:

  • Construction and operation of Municipal Solid Waste Landfill Units as defined by ADEM Admin Code 335-13-1-.03(89).
  • Acceptance and disposal of municipal solid wastes, industrial wastes, construction and demolition debris and other water types authorized by the ADEM Division 13 regulations for disposal in a municipal solid waste landfill.

The proposal for the expansion and change of nature of the Franklin County landfill sparked backlash in the community, with those opposed sending in Letters to the Editor, advertising, rallying in a Facebook group and making calls to their commissioners.

Randy Schultz, who lives near the landfill, was among those vocal in opposition to the proposed changes.

“The withdrawal of Franklin County Land Management’s request to build a mega landfill that would have received solid waste from three states is good news for all county citizens.”

Schultz said the owners of FCLM are to be commended “for hearing the pleas of their friends and neighbors in this matter.”

“We all have differing opinions and views, but we are all part of one county,” added Schultz. “All citizens and governments of the county should have learned a lot from this process that will serve them well when issues like this come before us in the future.”

He said he was “pleasantly surprised that our citizens stood up and supported the stop the landfill effort and the willingness of our citizens to let their voices be heard.”

“Franklin County residents can breathe a temporary sigh of relief,” agreed Scott Mugno, another among those who voiced opposition to the proposal. “While we would have preferred the finality of a ‘no’ vote by the commission, we were surprisingly pleased by FCLM’s withdrawal of its application.”

Mugno said though he’s pleased about the withdrawal, he plans to stay ready for what might come in the future.

“As we were fighting for our homes and way of life here in Franklin County, we planned and prepared for the long fight. As FCLM’s withdrawal states they reserve the right to refile, we’ll stay at the ready as well.

“Clearly, the county commission and FCLM didn’t consider or foresee the overwhelming opposition to the proposed mega multi-state garbage dump from the Franklin County residents,” added Mugno. “Franklin County residents stood up for their homes and way of life and they should be very proud of themselves.”

He shared his concerns that some were in favor of the changes.

“Some in this county thought a mega multi-state garbage dump was economic development,” Mugno said. “Franklin County residents clearly said ‘no.’ Instead, they believe recreational and other environmentally-friendly economic development is our county’s future.”

Questions and written concerns may be submitted to the Franklin County Commission at P.O. Box 1028, Russellville, AL 35653.

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