CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)—A Chesterfield landfill's plan to restructure has neighbors holding their noses; they believe changes at the Shoosmith Bros. Landfill will lower property values and threaten their health.
Officials say the landfill won't be getting any bigger, but area residents say the latest request will only make living next to a landfill worse than it already is.
"This is a quagmire of sludge muck that does not need to be in the heart of the fourth- largest county in the state of Virginia," said resident Horace Smith.
The Shoosmith Bros. Landfill off of Iron Bridge Road has been in operation since 1984. Residents like Smith didn't like it then, and definitely don't now.
"I smell it; my property values are going down because of it," Smith said. "People are trying to leaving this area."
Last year the company submitted an application seeking permission to build a mechanical berm. The president of the company says the new barrier would make garbage disposal more efficient.
"Folks are concerned about what it will look like," said Fletcher Kelly, Shoosmith Bros. vice president. "I think they will be satisfied that most of it … We are already putting waste in the area and it's not going to be any higher than the peak we have now. We will actually be 75 to 100 feet below the peak that's there now."
But at a public hearing Tuesday night, the company had to answer to more than 100 residents, many of whom are wondering if their health will be at risk. Shoosmith Bros. says everything is within safe limits.
"We've tested all the materials; they are already in the site," Kelly said. "They were tested before they came, they were tested after they came."
Smith remains doubtful. "It's a horse and pony show," he said. "They have not discussed the reality."
Chesterfield County residents have until Sept. 25 to leave their comments with the Department of Environmental Quality. A decision will be made within three months of that date.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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