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Environmental Protection Division to hold public hearing on landfill expansion

By Denise Ray, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division is conducting a public hearing on the proposed expansion of the Advanced Disposal Eagle Point Landfill, located at 8880 Federal Road, Ball Ground, in northwest Forsyth County. The expansion is part of the plan to include a methane gas plant. The purpose of the meeting is to inform citizens about the review of the proposed expansion and to solicit public comments.

The meeting will be held Tues. Aug. 22 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center of North Forsyth High School, 3635 Coal Mountain Drive in Cumming.

Although the landfill is located in Forsyth County residents from Cherokee, Dawson, Pickens and Forsyth will be impacted by the proposed change which is slated to include a methane gas plant.

Additional concerns have been communicated to elected officials at county commissioner meetings and include the current problems impacting the three counties which are air quality, odor, water quality, damage to Eagle Beak park, missing archeological artifacts, river pollution and the dangerous truck traffic.

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The matter was to have been voted upon during a commissioner meeting weeks ago, but was re-scheduled.

“Discussion and a subsequent vote on the methane plant was postponed at the last BOC meeting due to the fact staff had a mix up on running the legal ad that is required,” Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills explained in a written statement to Smoke Signals. “It will be on the next agenda.”

This is not the first landfill issue facing the county commissioners. There was a landfill in south Forsyth that was leaking explosive amounts of methane gas for three years near pricey neighborhoods in the southern part of the county, according to a 2010 article in The Atlanta Journal Constitution. The developers filed bankruptcy, leaving no one responsible for cleanup, according to the AJC.

A document from the state Department of Natural Resources called the leaking gas an "imminent and immediate threat to the public." A spark -- a tossed cigarette, an unprotected electrical current -- in an enclosed spot where the gas accumulates, such as the storm-water piping or one of the four unfinished houses, could cause an explosion.

Jeff Cown, then manager of the EPD's Solid Waste Management Program, said the developers piled dirt on top of the landfill's soil cap as they graded the property. The dirt blocked the release of methane gas, generated by decomposing wood and other debris, into the atmosphere. Although the gas began migrating horizontally through the soil, it has not crossed beyond the property boundaries.

Persons wishing to provide comments but who are unable to attend the meeting may respond by email to Chad Hall This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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