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LA DEQ: Harrelson Landfill will close

Before arguing with the Mayor Cedric Glover, Sen. Greg Tarver announced the closure of the Harrelson landfill.

It's the news neighbors in Shreveport’s MLK area have been waiting to hear: the landfill operated by Harrelson Materials Management will close.

That announcement was made Tuesday night at a meeting hosted by Louisiana Senator Greg Tarver.

State Fire Marshal Butch Browning says the first step is to stop the fire.

"So, to properly extinguish the fire, you got to dig down to the bottom of this cavern,” says Browning. “You've got to lay all the material out of that cavern, and you've got to extinguish every burning ember."

During the meeting, officials with Louisiana DEQ explained it’s going to take six to eight months to put the fire out.

Then, it’ll take another six months to do final closure procedures at the landfill.

Even with the good news, the meeting took a slight turn towards the end.

Senator Tarver questioned why the City of Shreveport settled a lawsuit with landfill owner Michael Harrelson in 2007.

Tarver: "You mean you paid Harrelson $275,000 for something that did not go to court?" says Tarver.

Glover: "We... We settled a lawsuit. We settled a lawsuit."

Then the two went back and forth about Tarver beating conspiracy, mail and wire fraud charges in 2000.

Tarver: "When I went to court, I was found not guilty."

Glover: "We settled a lawsuit."

Tarver: "So, you paid him $275,000?"

Glover: "But, now, there were seven of you on trial, only two of you were found not guilty."

Tarver: "That's right."

Glover: "The other five went to prison."

Tarver: "But he could've been found [not guilty] also mister mayor."

Glover: "We made a decision as the City of Shreveport, for me coming in with something that was done, acts that were done and committed...."

Tarver: "So, we gave Harrelson $275,000?"

Glover: "We settled a lawsuit."

Even with the arguing, neighbors were happy to hear that the landfill was closing.

Now, they're going to focus on how their health issues will be handled.

Even though the closing process will take some time, in the coming days Louisiana DEQ is supposed to release results on air quality and land testing in the MLK area.

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