Proposed Construction Debris Landfill Enters Mediation

It was almost standing room only at a hearing Wednesday for a proposed landfill just west of College Station.

Brazos Valley Recycling wants to add a construction waste landfill to its property, but some nearby residents don't like the idea.

News 3 was at the hearing and talked with people on both sides of the issue.

A 112 foot tall mountain of construction debris and brush could be a part of the Stewarts Meadow neighborhood someday.

Brazos Valley Recycling wants to expand their operations in western Brazos County and keep what can't be recycled on site.

Right now they take it to a landfill in Grimes County.

"I know that you've had a couple of public meetings and this isn't that kind of meeting," said Anne Perez, a State Office of Administrative Hearings Judge.

It was a full courtroom at the Brazos County Administration Building as opposing sides met with TCEQ and the State's Office of Administrative Hearings.

"Our major concern when we started this project was having a trash dump in the middle of our neighborhood," said John Millhollon, who lives in the 12 Oaks neighborhood and is a member of the Concerned Citizens for Health, Safety and Justice.

His house is less than a mile away from the site across F-M 60.

"They need all the help they can to fight this thing to keep them from being a detriment to their health of their children," said Millhollon.

Brent Ryan is an attorney for Charles Mancuso of Brazos Valley Recycling and says procedures would be in place to minimize blowing dirt, as well as a barrier to protect ground water.

The site would not accept household or hazardous waste or things that would smell.

It would just be construction debris like lumber.

"There are a host of other regulatory requirements that the state has adopted to ensure that these types of facilities don't adversely affect neighboring properties," said Ryan.

All of the interested parties also met for mediation behind closed doors.

"This is typical. It's really as I've heard other people say today, it's similar to a regular trial before a judge," said Steven Shepherd, an attorney for the Texas Commission On Environmental Quality.

"We're very hopeful that the owner of the facility will be receptive to comments that we have and we'll be listening to him," said John Millhollon.

It approved it would take 30 years for the grassy hill of debris to reach full height.

A final decision isn't likely to be made until a year from now.

TCEQ and the State Office of Administrative Hearings will make that decision.

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