Newton County moves to expand landfill

COVINGTON -- Expansion of Newton County's municipal solid waste landfill is one step closer now after a public hearing was held this week.

"We've had an application with the EPD pending for a while now for an expansion of the landfill," said Jenny Carter with County Attorney Tommy Craig's office. "There are a series of hearings we have to hold. ... This was the last public hearing prior to issuing of the permit."

Carter said the hearing was a matter of "administrative housekeeping" and lasted about 5 minutes. No member of the public spoke to comment.

The county is planning to expand a third cell at the landfill within its current property boundaries, Carter said.

The new cell at the landfill located on Lower River Road will be 1.5 million cubic yards and is expected to have a lifespan of eight to 10 years, depending on volume. Carter said the expansion will also include moving an older portion into a lined cell that meets current standards set by the state Environmental Protection Division.

Carter said the county first received site suitability approval from the EPD on Aug. 17, 2010. The county then submitted its design and operational plan. The EPD sent comments back and the county submitted revisions based on those comments in June and then in December.

Now that the county has held this final hearing, the EPD can issue the permit any time after two weeks has elapsed, Carter said.

In other county news, the Board of Commissioners unanimously reappointed at Tuesday's regular meeting Charles Berry to serve District 3 on the Tax Assessor Board. The BOC also unanimously reappointed John Middleton as county manager, Tommy Craig as county attorney and Jackie Smith as county clerk.

Staff Reporter Crystal Tatum contributed to this article.