State environmental officials hope to start closing procedures at the Harrelson landfill in Shreveport next week.
That's the announcement made Thursday night at a meeting held by Senator Greg Tarver on the campus of Southern University in Shreveport.
"The main thing that we want to do is get the fire out,” says Greg Langley, Press Secretary for Louisiana DEQ.
The agency wants to give neighbors in the MLK area some relief.
"We want to get the smoke off of them, we want to get the smell off of them, we don't want them to have to deal with it anymore," says Langley.
But neighbors aren't quick to be convinced.
"You know, it's basically a wait and see thing,” says Robert Thomas, Jr., a neighbor from the MLK area. “We're going to see are the state officials going to be true to their word, and do that which they said."
Neighbors say they continue to see trucks dumping debris on the property.
According to DEQ, the landfill has to continue accepting approved debris like wood and concrete to make money to fund the fighting of the fire.
LDEQ has $260,000 to put the underground fire out, but more is needed.
"It involves third party supervision, it involves allowing some continued operations to fund the closure expenses and we hope to have it all in place in the next couple of weeks to begin the closure process,” says Langley. “And it'll be a lengthy process."
Unless crews can be spotted at the landfill next week, neighbors say they'll still be on edge about their health and their environment.
"Once we start to see the specialized personnel coming in to put the fire out, then we'll, you know, everybody will be able to rest a little bit better," says Thomas.
LDEQ says while they're putting out the fire and going through closing procedures, they'll continue land and air testing.
Sen. Tarver plans to host a follow up meeting in three weeks.
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