KSLA News 12 Investigation: Landfill Investigation

Joe Stewart lives a mile and a half from Harrelson Materials Management Landfill.
Stewart says he can name five of his neighbors with cancer and points to the landfill as the problem.
"All this dust, and all this traffic through the day and night and they're tearing up our roads everything," he says.
Pastor Lemar Holden runs a church near the dumping site.
He says the facility is a health hazard and is only in its location because the surrounding area is a low income black neighborhood.
"I don't think it would fly in Spring Lake or Southern Trace.  I don't think none of those would welcome it," says Holden.
Dr. Gloria Horning -- an enviornmental activist -- claims the landfill's waste runs off into the nearby neighborhood, ponds, and eventually cross lake.
"Not a whole lot of geology you've got to know here to know that's downhill," she says.
The landfill's owner, Michael Harrelson, tells a much different side to the story.  He says there is no way any of his waste can get to cross lake.
"We hold the water here.  If we ever discharge, we discharge into a small creek that goes to twelve mile bayou and that discharge is regulated," says Harrelson.
The landfill owner says all of his permits are intact with DEQ.
He points to streams surrounding his landfill that run away from the nearby neighborhood.
"We're boarded with a sewage treatment plant on that side.  On that side we're boarded with wetlands and on this side you're boarded with an existing landfill that's been here as long as 1978," says Harrelson.
Michael Harrelson tells KSLA News 12 he welcomes anyone who is concerned to take a tour of the facility and to sit in his office and read all of their approved permits.
Story By Ben Wolf