Crab Orchard- On Wednesday, February 22nd, the Crab Orchard City Council will decide whether or not to approve a permit for a landfill in their town. The proposed site for the landfill is a limestone quarry, which has caused property damages, health concerns, and contaminated the drinking water in Crab Orchard for years. The special meeting will be at the Crab Orchard City Hall at 6 p.m.
SCP Investments, LLC, which currently owns the quarry, filed a permit for the Class III landfill, which would store toxic waste such as demolition materials. Despite a recent poll that shows 95% of Crab Orchard residents are against the landfill, Alderman Patrick Barnes and Alderman Willard Sherrill indicated in a meeting on February 10th, that they would likely vote for the permit approval. The two aldermen accompanied employees of SCP Investments on a visit to a Class III landfill in Knoxville on February 7th.
On January 27th, over 200 Crab Orchard residents attended a public meeting about the landfill, many of whom spoke in opposition to it and none spoke in favor of it.
“This same project was proposed in 2009 when the citizens strongly objected,” said SOCM member Jean Cheely. “It was voted down by one vote. A new alderman was elected in the meantime. The same citizen outcry is not being heeded this time.”
SOCM’s Cumberland County chapter has been working to oppose a landfill in Crab Orchard for several years. The chapter cites the following reasons:
- Many residences are within sight of the proposed site.
- Cumberland County sold the quarry after they were informed that the location is unsuitable for a landfill because of safety and environmental problems.
- Blasting at the site has been going on for 60 years and will continue at the adjoining quarry operation.
- The ground that Crab Orchard sits on is unstable and riddled with sinkholes and caves.
- Crab Orchard floods regularly because of underground streams that back up during heavy rains.
- A private landfill request on the same location was denied several years ago.
According to Jackson Law, if the motion passes in Crab Orchard, it will pass on to the Cumberland County Commission for a vote before being submitted to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) for the permitting process.