Public Hearing Scheduled for Proposed Crab Orchard Landfill

Crab Orchard- The town of Crab Orchard will hold a public hearing regarding a proposed private landfill on Friday, January 27, 2012 at 6 p.m. at the Town Hall. The site for the landfill is a limestone quarry, which has caused property damages, health concerns, and contaminated drinking water in Crab Orchard for years.

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. In 2009, the company was denied by the city for the same request.  Since that time, a new alderman was elected, and the company feels they have a chance to get approval, as there are only two alderman on the council.

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.
  • A poll shows that 90% of the residents are against a landfill in Crab Orchard.
  • 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.

“Many of the families that still cling to the side of that mountain have been there for generations, back when it was a beautiful mountain overlooking the valley,” SOCM member Jean Cheely said. “They have endured the dust from the limestone quarries, the blasting damages to their property, and the contamination of their wells.  Some homes have been condemned due to flooding caused by the quarry operations.  This is an impoverished area and folks cannot afford a lawyer.  We need our representatives to do what is right for the people of Crab Orchard.”

All residents are invited to attend the public hearing. SOCM sent postcards with details of the hearing to over 500 households in Crab Orchard and we are hoping for a large turnout.

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