Landfill expansion worries some
Methane levels concern residents
Despite the county’s efforts to calm the fears of residents of Lower River Road that the landfill does not pose a health threat, some people still have concerns.
To respond to those concerns, a second public information meeting on the expansion of the Lower River Road Landfill will be held at 7 p.m. on April 14 at the Historic Courthouse. The county’s landfill consultants, Richardson, Smith, Gardner & Associates, will be in attendance along with the Newton County Board of Commissioners.
At the meeting the landfill consultants and the BOC will give attendees an overview of their plans to expand the landfill’s capacity and will take questions from the audience. This will be the second public information session on the matter held by the BOC. The first meeting, held on March 20 was not well-attended.
The county plans to submit an application for a Solid Waste Handling Permit to the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to increase the room available for waste disposal at the landfill, according to a press release from County Chairman Aaron Varner.
At the March 20 meeting, the BOC approved a proposal to expand the landfill by filling in unoccupied space between the existing four waste sites. According to the proposal, the expansion will not push waste toward the private homes across the street but will actually shift the waste slightly away. There will be no new land purchases with the proposal.
The county plans to shift all waste into a single large landfill lined with several feet of compacted clay and a high-density polyethylene material. The combined effect of the liner and clay is expected make it very difficult for any methane gas to leave the site. Of the 88 acres currently permitted for waste disposal, 14 have been used without a liner system while 37 are currently used with a liner system.
Methane is a greenhouse gas formed as a byproduct of the decomposition process and can be explosive if high concentrations of it are reached in an enclosed space.
A recent testing of methane levels by a geologist with Georgia Environmental & Management Services Inc. revealed that methane had reached Lower Explosive Level limits at several points around the landfill.
Robert Krasko, the geologist who performed the inspection, said in a previous interview that the methane levels did not pose an imminent health risk to people living or working in the vicinity of the landfill. Corrective actions have been taken to lower methane levels at the landfill, he said.
spokesperson John Bankhead. Jones, who will eventually be buried in New Jersey, was originally from the state and has family there.
“ Old fashioned police work led us to him,” Bankhead said.
A GBI agent and an NCSO investigator traveled to New Jersey to continue the investigation of Jones’s murder. They were assisted by the New Jersey State Police, the Bridgeton Barracks and Bridgeton City Police, said NCSO public information officer Investigator Sharron Stewart.
Stewart said Young had a criminal history with acts that could be considered dangerous.
Pastor Eric Lee of Springfield Baptist Church in Conyers, where Jones was an active member of the singles ministry and sang in the choir, said the arrest answered a lot of questions, but raised a slew of other questions.
“ He was caught in something he was innocent of,” Lee said. “ We’re relieved someone is in custody, but we are still grieving.”
A memorial service was held for Jones at Springfield Baptist on Thursday evening.
“ I want to thank the NCSO and GBI for taking the life of Gary Jones so personally and treating him with the utmost integrity, dignity, respect and honor,” Lee said, “ and for bringing this to a swift conclusion.”
No one had called in with a tip and claimed the $ 10,000 reward offered by Springfield Baptist Church and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, according to Stewart.
Jones’s death marked the fifth homicide in Newton County, compared to 10 homicides for 2007 and four in 2006.