Efforts to stop coal ash from coming to landfill in Wayne Co. - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Efforts to stop coal ash from coming to landfill in Wayne Co.


Many in Wayne County hope they can block a commercial landfill from plans to haul tons of coal ash to their site.

The company has operated a regional landfill there since the early 1990's. Trucks already roll in and out of Republic Services' Broadhurst landfill to bring household trash. But County Commissioner Kevin Copeland says he and other leaders were shocked when they learned the company wants to bring coal ash here from several states. Some studies consider that ash as toxic or poisonous.

He worries what it could do to the water table underground.

“What if it leaks? What will it do down there if it leaks? What's the containment process? All these are questions we've asked but have not gotten an answer yet,” said Copeland. "One of the things that's got us worried is not just the coal ash, but also the amount - 10,000 tons a day. That adds up to a lot of garbage.”

He says it won't be coming by truck, but rail. The company has asked for environmental permits to add more tracks to hold a hundred or more cars for dumping. They've also applied for permits to build the lined ground containers inside wetlands.

Congressman Buddy Carter doesn't like how far the company's gotten in the process without local input.

“I can't speculate on whether this can be stopped or whether it will move forward. But I can tell you the people of Wayne County deserve answers and they deserve their concerns to be addressed,” said Rep. Carter.

When contacted this afternoon, a Republic Services spokesperson said, "The landfill is an environmentally responsible site that has earned a one hundred percent compliance record with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division in the past five years," and "we take great pride in being a good neighbor in Wayne County."

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