MLK residents question whether landfill will close

By Stephanie Claytor

Published 07/11 2014 06:26PM

Updated 07/11 2014 08:29PM

People living in the MLK neighborhood are concerned about their deteiorating health because of the nearby landfill owned by Harrelson Materials Management, Inc.


The Shreveport Fire Department has been called to put out fires at the landfill at least 41 times since May of 2012.


The smoke has been getting into nearby homes. Neighbors living there complain of constant coughs, headaches and itchy eyes, allergies they’ve never experienced before.


The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality has ordered Harrelson to stop receiving trash, construction, or demolition materials at the landfill but neighbors fear that’s not happening.


".We don’t know what is still being hauled in there especially when you have someone you still dealing with some health issues. We don’t know what they're taking in there,” said Bennie Dotie, the President of the MLK Neighborhood Association.


 “We can't trust them and there's no one to monitor them so who says they're  doing what they're supposed to be doing."


Dotie said he took a picture of a truck with a Texas license plate hauling something to the dump July 9, the day after officials announce the landfill would close. It’s still allowed to accept concrete and wood but residents questioned who is monitoring what’s coming in.


Harrelson doesn’t plan to renew its permit in October. The DEQ believes it will take another six to eight months to put the fire out, and another six months to completely close the landfill.


State Senator Greg Tarver is holding a public meeting July 24 at 5:30 p.m. at Southern University Shreveport in the Jesse Stone Lecture Hall. Both DEQ and officials with the Department of Health and Hospitals will be there.

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