State says landfill must close, put out fire - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

State says landfill must close, put out fire

MLK neighborhood residents stream into a public meeting Tuesday evening hosted by State Sen. Greg Tarver. MLK neighborhood residents stream into a public meeting Tuesday evening hosted by State Sen. Greg Tarver.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - State environmental officials said a Shreveport landfill, which has been belching smoke and flames into nearby neighborhoods for years, must close.

"We're elated by the closure but there is still unresolved issues concerning the citizens health," said Robert Thomas, a concerned resident who attended Tuesday's meeting. 

The owners, Harrelson Materials Management, Inc. have 8 months max to wrap the business up, the DEQ announced Tuesday evening.

Reportedly the company's contract expires in October, and no renewal will be sought. 

Regulators ordered Harrelson last week to stop receiving and disposing of new material, but Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover and many residents of the MLK neighborhood said that move wasn't good enough.

A perpetual fire burning at the site has been sending up plumes of thick, black smoke into the air for years. The partially underground blaze has recently flared up again. Residents living near the landfill located off Russell Rd. just off I-220, have complained about the impact of the fires on the environment and their health.

This latest announcement came at a meeting hosted by State Sen. Greg Tarver, D-Shreveport, to brief residents about the landfill, and where their concerns were headed.

Senator Tarver, who hosted the meeting told residents that the most important thing to do now is make sure the fire is out for good. 

Harrelson will have 6 to 8 months to put out the fire and then close up shop. The company's permit expired in October and will not be renewed.

Last month, Glover went so far as to ask Gov. Bobby Jindal to shut the business down and remediate the site. Glover expressed displeasure when the state Department of Environmental Quality rendered its initial ruling.

Copyright 2014 KSLA. All rights reserved.
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