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EPA looking into landfill fire, closure

News | September 15, 2014 | By:

Shreveport site spewing smoke, fumes

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is stepping into a fiery situation to help facilitate the final closure of a private landfill in Shreveport, La.

The landfill, operated by Harrelson Materials Management Inc. (HMM), has long been a source of complaints by Shreveport residents concerned about the smoke and fumes spewed by underground fires that have burned at the site for years.

Shreveport’s mayor, Cedric Glover, has expressed concerns with the gaps in the fire mitigation plan previously approved by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) and he asked the EPA to help develop a better plan and timeline for extinguishing the fires and closing the landfill.

Although the landfill is regulated by the state, the federal government has the authority to address this issue because it involves air quality and the potential that unauthorized materials were disposed at the site.

In August, the LDEQ ordered HMM to put out the fire, which has been burning for years. However, that order placed no limit on how long that will actually take, but it said Harrelson has to start the process within 180 days. The landfill does not have to close until the fire is extinguished.

In the short-term, the city is requesting that the EPA provide air emissions monitoring to help ensure the health and safety of residents in the area.

Read more about a landfill and closure from our April 2012 issue.

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