Feds to step in to resolve landfill controversy

Feds to step in to resolve landfill controversy

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Shreveport mayor Cedric Glover called for federal control at the latest public meeting on the fate of the Harrelson landfill, which has been a continuous nightmare for nearby residents.

The state ordered the landfill to be to shut down, and now the mayor of Shreveport is calling on the feds to come in and take control of the situation.

Glover wants it done right and in a timely manner. State regulators with the Department of Environmental Quality ordered the landfill owner to close the Harrelson landfill and put out the fire, with the state overseeing the operation.

However, the owner doesn't have to start the fire mitigation plan until February 2015- five months from now. Glover says that's just too long to wait.

The mayor took to Twitter to air out his frustrations regarding the Harrelson landfill. He appears to be fed up with the landfill, and residents want the smoke to clear as well, sooner rather than later.

"I would like to come home, run my A/C without smelling smoke, come outside and get fresh air, and I don't think that is too much to ask," nearby resident Reggie Sullivan said.

The state recently approved a fire mitigation plan that would allow Harrelson and its employees to extinguish the flames on their own. However, that doesn't sit well with Mayor Glover or residents who live near the landfill.

"We've come home and the whole street is smoked up just white. This place has been there for a long time," Sullivan said. "We as a community, we are ready for a change."

Sullivan says he's lived on the street for at least 10 years, and the smoke is an inconvenience.

"First of all, it's an eyesore. We used to be able to see downtown from here, and now we can't," he added.

Glover says that he has contacted the EPA and asked them to step in to come up with a real fire mitigation plan that will get the job done. He believes that there is no motivation to put out the fire since Harrelson will continue to make a profit as long as the flames continue. In the meantime, the residents of the Martin Luther King neighborhood are suffering.

"It's horrible. There has been times when we've had to turn the air conditioner off when it's hot inside to keep the smoke out," Sullivan said.

Sullivan and many other residents are hoping that the added pressure being placed on the state will force them to come up with a plan of action that allows the burden to be removed once and for all.

Rod Richardson with the mayor's office confirms that the EPA is expected to be in town Thursday to discuss the matter.

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