Residents voice complaints over landfill odor


Residents in the vicinity of North Homewood Road and Highway 501 in Forest are having an odorous experience due to a bad bouquet on the breezes blowing their way. Waste Management Clearview Landfill, located about five miles away on Mudline Road in Lake, is apparently having some challenges in putting a lid on this pungency.

The concern was brought to the attention of the Scott County Board of Supervisors at their recent recess meeting held on Monday, October 23. Landfill Matters was listed on the Agenda immediately following Open Meeting.

According to Scott County Board of Supervisors President, Tim Sorey, District 2, “They’ve got a smell, and it’s my understanding that they are going to fix it. I’ve talked with Lance Sanders and Jim Johnson over at the Landfill. Citizens were at the Board Meeting about it. Mr. Ed Eichelberger, who is just below North Homewood Road where it comes into Highway 501, is being affected. He has allergy problems.”

Sorey said the Board is having Alvin Seaney check into it with DEQ and monitor the progress. Seaney, the  Emergency Operations Center (EOC) director in Forest, reaffirmed, “We are on top of it. We are working with the DEQ. He continued, “I’ve also been in contact with the folks at the Landfill since I just found out about it a week ago. DEQ has found some small problems, but the Landfill is going to get them corrected, not overnight, but it will get resolved, just not overnight. It takes a little while to get these kinds of problems worked out. I know that the people have a legit complaint and it will probably be a little worse right now due to the changes in temperature and it also depends on the way the wind blows; however, it will get resolved.”

Lance Sanders, District Manager at Clearview Landfill for more than 26 years, stated, “Waste Management is continuing to address recent odor complaints from residents. We are applying additional processes that we believe will largely mitigate those odor issues. We have been and continue to add additional resources to address these odor concerns. We feel confident that, when fully implemented, these applications will effectively mitigate the concerns which our landfill neighbors have expressed. We appreciate their cooperation as we implement these changes as quickly as possible.”

Clearview Landfill is an organization which primarily operates in the Sanitary Landfill Operation business/industry within the Electric, Gas and Sanitary Services sector. Gases are produced in landfills due to the anaerobic digestion by microbes. In a properly managed landfill this gas is collected and used. Its uses range from simple flaring to the landfill gas utilization and generation of electricity. Landfill gas monitoring alerts workers to the presence of a build-up of gases to a harmful level. In some countries, landfill gas recovery is extensive; in the United States, for example, more than 850 landfills have active landfill gas recovery systems. Permitting a landfill generally takes between 5 and 7 years, costs millions of dollars and requires rigorous siting, engineering and environmental studies and demonstrations to ensure local environmental and safety concerns are satisfied.

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), is responsible for protecting the state’s air, land, and water. It is their mission statement to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of present and future generations of Mississippians by conserving and improving our environment and fostering wise economic growth through focused research and responsible regulation.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has six districts throughout the state with an area coordinator assigned to each district as a liaison between the county emergency operations centers and MEMA. Each county has a full or part-time emergency management program (County EMA) appointed by local government.

Because gases produced by landfills are both valuable and sometimes hazardous, monitoring techniques have been developed. Flame ionization detectors can be used to measure methane levels as well as total VOC levels. Surface monitoring and sub-surface monitoring as well as monitoring of the ambient air is carried out. In the U.S., under the Clean Air Act of 1996, it is required that many large landfills install gas collection and control systems, which means that at the very least the facilities must collect and flare the gas.