Buffalo residents sound off over green waste site at commission meeting

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The citizens of the Buffalo area have once again voiced concern over the Green Waste site located on US-431 North near LaFayette. At the Chambers County Commission meeting on Monday, Clint Allen, a Buffalo citizen, spoke to the commission about the community’s opposition to the site and its future use for burning. 

The commission purchased 35 acres of land in the area for the intended use of creating a green waste site to be used exclusively by the county highway department for green debris, such as logs, brush and other materials. 

Since learning of the site, multiple Buffalo locals have been in attendance at the meetings and some have used the time for public comment to raise their concerns. 

Email newsletter signup

Allen was the citizen who spoke on Monday with more sitting in the crowd. He began by questioning the need for the land. 

“On the March 4 commission meeting, Commissioner [James] Williams stated the county spent $12,000 on dumping relating to the Standing Rock tornado. He also stated Fema paid 80% of these costs, which is that that equals $9000. So the county actually spent $3,000 So in regards to that,” Allen said.

He continued, “[The county] bought the [dump] property at $135,000 as stated by Commissioner Williams. So if we spent $3,000, you divide that by 135,000, that equals 45. So it would take 45 storms the size of the Standing Rock tornado to make this [site] feasible.” 

Other citizens who have spoken at previous meetings expressed concern about the green waste site becoming used as another county landfill.

“I’ve been told that the current C&D landfill, with its current flow right now, will be full in seven years. Is this the real reason we’re pursuing the site in Buffalo?” asked Allen. “With a large amount of rural land adjoining this site, the citizens have the right to know future plans.”

In his last statement to the commission, Allen brought up the community’s concern about the burning that would happen onsite. In previous public comments, citizens questioned the health factors of burning green material.  

“For the new site of the proposed burning, how will you assure us that the plastics and volatile organic compounds will not be mixed into the burning? How will you protect neighbors and constituents from smoke and particulate matter known as PM2.5?”

PM2.5 are particles that are 2.5 micrometers or smaller, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. These particles can include dirt, soot, smoke and dust. The danger of the particles is their small size, which makes them easily inhalable.

“Will you be installing EPA-approved PM2.5 S-LINE air quality monitoring systems like other industries are required to install in these sites?” Allen asked. 

The commission thanked Allen for his comments but did not take any further action.