Environmental group urges Wayne County Commissioners to take action against coal ash expansion

WAYNE CO., GA (WTOC) - The fight continues to try and halt a controversial plan to expand a South Georgia landfill so that more coal ash can be brought there by rail.

Republic Services wants to bring more coal ash by rail into the Broadhurst Landfill in Wayne County. Coal ash that some studies have shown to be toxic.

The environmental group "No Ash at All" says while there might be some financial benefit to expansion, the risk to the environment and to the health of people is too great.  They are asking commissioners to enforce a Wetland Protection Regulation Ordinance - on the books in Wayne County - that they say the transporting and dumping of coal ash would violate.

"I really worry about the whole rail spur in general because of the amount of, not only coal ash but municipal waste that can be brought from all over the country," said Peggy Riggins.

"Well, the toxicity, particularly from hexavalent chromium, can cause increased risk of cancer, it can cause ulcers, asthma. That's one of the predominant substances that causes problems," said Dr. Mark Byron, M.D.

"There are so many people in Jesup, so many smart talented people working so hard on this project and I think just the turnout here tonight shows that this community does not want this environmental risk," said attorney Laura Roberts.

The group is asking commissioners to publicly state that they will enforce the wetlands ordinance and to send a letter to Republic telling them that their proposed expansion violates that ordinance.

It may be an uphill battle, but they say they are not about to stop fighting.

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