Main Street Maury

Large waste facility could soon land in Maury County; local officials balk

An aerial view of the Monsanto Chemical Corporation in Columbia, where a solid waste company plans to build a municipal waste landfill.COURTESY TN STATE ARCHIVES

An aerial view of the Monsanto Chemical Corporation in Columbia, where a solid waste company plans to build a municipal waste landfill.COURTESY TN STATE ARCHIVES

{child_flags:centerpiece}Local officials balk at plans for Maury landfill

{child_byline}BY CHRIS YOW

Main Street Maury{/child_byline}

Maury County could soon be the home to a massive landfill operation at the former Monsanto Chemical Corporation site, and there may be nothing the county can do about it.

Representative Scott Cepicky, R-Culleoka, and State Senator Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, announced Friday their call to action from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to halt the process.

Already, the site has been approved for and is expecting to complete a tire shredding facility on the property, which – according to the permit application submitted by Barge Design Solutions for Trinity – was an approved process at the site previously.

Barge’s application reads the site will be used on a permit-by-rule basis for the processing of waste tires for metal recovery, tire derived aggregate, mineral aggregate substitution, leachate collection media, rubber mulch, animal bedding, sports field underlayment, recovered products and volume reduction.

In a letter to TDEC on Sept. 15, Cepicky and Hensley raised concerns about how the project would impact the environment in Southern Middle Tennessee and the Duck River Watershed, as well as the lack of input from the public.

“Our well-thought-out and considered actions before a decision on the land use could potentially help us avoid a Camp LeJeune or a Flint, Michigan scenario,” the lawmakers said in a release.

The future plan, however, is to include the collection processing of municipal solid waste, construction and demolition waste and other wastes for energy and metal recovery, another application indicates.

Two solid waste facilities in Middle Tennessee are facing the end of their lifespan, which is a concern for Maury County leaders and residents.

Nashville’s Southern Services landfill announced earlier this year it would cease accepting municipal waste due to being denied an expansion of the facility. Meanwhile, Middle Point Landfill in Murfreesboro is facing legal action from the city, while also being denied for expansion.

One of the issues Cepicky and Hensley brought about is the settled waste below the surface at the site, which was once used for the mining of phosphorus and the production of fertilizer.

It was also used briefly to manufacture chemical-warfare agents. The 53,000-acre property contains four Superfund sites, which is a designation given by the Environmental Protection Agency to property containing hazardous substances potentially harmful to humans and the environment.

Cepicky and Hensley say this was done without any notice to the citizens or elected officials in the county, and they are demanding a public meeting take place before additional permits are granted. Due to the permit-by-rule designation, however, typical government notice is not required by the applicants.

“The Duck River is celebrated for its natural beauty and serves as an important water source for Southern Middle Tennessee,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement. “The lack of analysis or supporting documentation for this plan along with the absence of transparency or public input is very concerning to us. We all have a duty to be good stewards of what makes our state great for the continued enjoyment of the public.

“Citizens deserve more information about how this will impact our community, our water source, our wildlife and native plants.”

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