by FortBendNow Staff, Jan 20, 2007, 10 19 am
The Brazoria County District Attorney's Office has been given authority to to participate in that county's opposition to a proposed expansion of Blue Ridge Landfill in Fort Bend County.
According to The Facts newspaper, Brazoria County Commissioners approved a resolution to that effect on Thursday.
Owned by Allied subsidiary Blue Ridge Landfill TX L.P., the landfill, at 2200 F.M. 521, is about a mile north of Fresno in Fort Bend County, just across 521 from Pearland and Brazoria County.
Allied has obtained a "draft permit" that, if made permanent, would allow the company to expand the landfill from its current 302-acre "waste footprint," where refuse is permitted to be piled up to 58 feet high, to 784 acres, with the right to pile refuse up to 170 feet high. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality commissioners will have to vote in favor of the project before any work can proceed.
Pearland City Council voted in December to oppose the expansion, after a presentation by opponents of Allied Waste's plans. Fort Bend County and Missouri City reached an agreement with the landfill's owners several years ago, which precludes them from officially opposing expansion plans.
Richard Morrison, an environmental attorney representing Coalition Against Blue Ridge Landfill Expansion, spoke to the Pearland council before the vote. He said he learned that the city eventually intends to treat water from Mustang Bayou and use it for drinking water.
No portion of the proposed footprint of the expanded landfill lies within the bayou's floodplain, but the southwest corner of the property is within its 100-year floodplain, Morrison said in written comments submitted to the TCEQ during a hearing in December.
Morrison has raised the possibility of barium leaking from the landfill, based on an incident Allied acknowledges in which a "statistically significant" increase in barium was discovered at one monitoring well at the existing landfill, in November 2005. Allied officials say they are convinced that the discovery was a natural occurrence.
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