Scott weighs in on transfer station

Mon, 08/27/2007 - 9:25am
By: Ben Nelms

Scott weighs in on transfer station

Fairburn residents bolstered their fight to keep a household trash and construction debris transfer station from being approved at the site of an inert landfill on Bohannon Road Thursday when they gained the support of Congressman David Scott.

Mirroring statements by citizens at the Aug. 13 Fairburn council meeting, the small but vocal group told Scott they had significant community concerns over a host of issues surrounding the potential approval of the transfer station. Some of those concerns included odors they believed would be present in nearby Meadow Glen and Cobblestone Glen subdivisions, excessive truck traffic along Bohannon Road and Ga. Highway 74, possible leakage from those trucks and the damage that would be done to roadways as a result of the heavy truck traffic.

Scott said he would send a letter of opposition to the mayor and council, citing factors such as environmental justice, environmental racism, quality of life and odor as reasons for opposing the placement of the transfer station in a city where approximately three-fourths of registered voters are black. Scott said his letter would be forwarded to Georgia Environmental Protection Division and federal Environmental Protection Agency. He also urged those in attendance to get the community involved in the issue.

Upcoming city council candidate and St. John’s Crossing subdivision home owners association President Elizabeth Hurst stressed that residents should be acknowledged for presenting legitimate concerns to the city council. Residents’ concerns over the negative impact of approving the transfer station should take precedent over other considerations, she said.

Representing Fulton County Commissioner Bill Edwards, Chief of Staff Dyan Matthews said the commissioner stands with residents in believing approval of the transfer station would present an unneeded environmental stress, adding that south Fulton County already has too many trash facilities and landfills. Fulton County Community Zoning Board Commissioner and site neighbor Sandra Hardy said the transfer station’s service area would be a 15-mile radius to the site and would include municipalities such as Peachtree City. Hardy and South Fulton/Fayette Community Task Force Chairman Connie Biemiller said they had recently visited a transfer station in Clayton County, learning that neighbors had serious, unanswered complaints about odors and road damage. I am concerned about anything else happening in Fulton County after what we have been through with the PSC (Phillip Services Corp.) plant, Biemiller said.

In July and again Aug. 13 the council heard the conceptual site plan for Fairburn Transfer Station, located on Bohannon Road north of I-85. An inert recycling facility is currently located on the 26.48-acre site. Site owners Walker Brothers proposed to construct a transfer station on the property that would handle household trash and construction waste, essentially providing a mid-point between the site of generation and the final disposal of trash into a landfill. Project representatives said the transfer station would not emit off-site odors, would produce no pollution in the surrounding areas and would be cleaned each day.

Walker Brothers initially said approximately eight trucks per hour would be expected to use the facility. Eight trucks per hour works out to 320 trucks per week based on eight-hour operations five days per week.

A potential sticking point in the approval comes from the perspective that the site has long been zoned to accommodate a transfer station. Because such a facility is a permitted use under that zoning category, there is a potential for litigation by Walker Brothers if the city refuses approval. Residents opposing approval of the transfer station said that is a risk the council should be willing to take.

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Submitted by Dalmation195 on Mon, 08/27/2007 - 11:31am.

What the heck is "Environmental Racism?"

Is there no shame in when and where the race card will be played?

Why can't we all just get along?

There are two transfer stations in Fayette County (where the population is mostly white). How does Congressman Scott explain that?

I wonder if all of the Fairburn citizens that are opposed to the transfer station are willing to foot the legal bill of the city during the litigation should the city council deny this?

Once again, pick up my trash, but don't place it in my backyard!!!! If only for a few hours.

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