DEQ issues order to halt Shreveport landfill operations

DEQ issues order to halt Shreveport landfill operations

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The Department of Environmental Quality, working with the State Fire Marshal's Office, issued an administrative order requiring a Shreveport landfill to cease all landfill disposal operations at its Russell Road construction and demolition landfill. The landfill is owned by Harrelson Material Management Inc. The order is part of a revised emergency declaration signed by DEQ Secretary Peggy Hatch.

"DEQ finds that Harrelson Materials has failed to meet the conditions set forth in an agreed upon fire mitigation plan – they don't have the necessary equipment and personnel to put out the fire. The agency, working with State Fire Marshal Butch Browning, will take over the fire mitigation effort. We will put the fire out," Hatch said.

The landfill receives only construction and demolition waste. The order directs Harrelson Material Management Inc. to "immediately cease any and all receipt of C&D waste at the landfill. All legal authorization to operate the landfill is hereby revoked." The order allows Harrelson to continue the wood chipping and concrete crushing operations adjacent to the site "ONLY in a manner deemed by the Department and/or the Louisiana State Fire Marshal to not hinder or otherwise interfere with operations being carried out to extinguish the subterranean fire."

Nearby residents in the Martin Luther King Jr., neighborhood have complained about the haze and smoke caused by the underground landfill fires for years. Earlier this month, Shreveport Mayor, Cedric Glover, called for federal response to help with the situation.

The state recently approved a fire mitigation plan that would allow Harrelson and its employees to extinguish the flames on their own. Under the fire mitigation plan, a third party will be contracted to put out the landfill fire. DEQ and Office of the State Fire Marshal's personnel will monitor the work and ensure no threat to human health or the environment results from the effort. Once the fire is out, the Harrelson Materials Management will be required to return to the site and complete the landfill closure process in compliance with state regulations.

DEQ will continue to conduct perimeter, site and community monitoring at the Harrelson site until the situation is resolved.