Parish gains control over type of debris that can be dumped

November 05, 2008 at 7:19 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Sanitary landfill regulations in St. Charles Parish haven’t been updated since 1981, and because of that, the council approved a measure last month that now gives the parish more control over what type of landfill can move into St. Charles Parish.

Kim Marousek, director of the St. Charles Parish Department of Planning and Zoning, has revised the parish regulation codes to make the parish more aware of the differences between the various types of landfills. That way, parish officials would know what type of debris could possibly be dumped before a special use permit is issued.

“Right now, the parish’s sanitary landfill regulation code doesn’t identify what type of debris a landfill can dump in the parish,” Marousek said. “My goal is to mirror the state and require that landfills applying for a permit in the parish be distinguished by Type I, Type II or Type III.”
According to the Louisiana Environmental Protection Agency, construction and debris landfills have fewer restrictions and regulations. They also happen to be the most popular type of landfills in the state.

Prior to Hurricane Katrina, Killona Ventures, LLC could only accept construction and demolition debris, which is harmless, according to the landfill’s legal documents.
But in 2006, LDEQ decided to issue a one time “emergency regulations” permit to accept asbestos-containing materials if they became  “enhanced” construction and debris sites. The permit was issued due to the large amount of waste created by Hurricane Katrina.

These enhanced sites had to acquire special liners and other preventive measures that would prevent or limit the risk of exposure to anyone in the community.
In 2006, the LDEQ reclassified Killona Ventures to an enhanced construction and debris landfill without the permission of the St. Charles Parish administration and contrary to the special use permit that was originally issued to the landfill.

In April of 2007, LDEQ notified Killona Ventures that it was revoking its permit.
The former owner sued the LDEQ two weeks later, asking the court to allow them to uphold the permit so that they could continue to accept asbestos material. Killona Ventures won their argument in court.

The owners then sold the company to Transload America and the permitting rights transferred over to the new company.
Doug Wilson, site manager for the landfill in Killona, says that Transload America would only be accepting nonfriable asbestos. Wilson went on to explain that the nonfriable type is the kind that doesn’t float in the air.

District-1 Councilman Billy Raymond says he has some concerns about the negative impacts landfills pose to surrounding communities and the residents of the parishes they are located in.
Raymond feels that landfills are one of the oldest methods available to dispose of waste and this process increases risks for all of the citizens in the parish.
“I would rather see us spend more effort on other forms of waste disposals,” he said. “I would also love to see available land in St. Charles Parish used for things other than landfill expansions.”

View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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