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Jackson County and Waste Management call a truce

Jackson County Administrator Ernie Padgett Jackson County Administrator Ernie Padgett

Jackson County Administrator Ernie Padgett and Senator George Gainer met with two attorneys for Waste Management last Thursday afternoon at the Penn Avenue Agricultural Center offices to discuss the ongoing issues of the deep well injection proposal.  The purpose of the meeting was to address and investigate viable options available for Jackson County’s Waste Management site at Springhill near Campbellton.

Padgett said in an interview Saturday with the TIMES, “I first asked the attorneys for Waste Management if they were coming for good will or if they were at liberty to make a decision.  They advised me they had the power to make a decision.  Senator Gainer and I met with them and we had a nice discussion that I felt very good about.  We sat down and discussed some alternatives to deep well injection and Waste Management also agreed to ask the Department of Environmental Protection to hold off on the pending class V exploratory well until March 31, 2018. That gives us about eight months to see about an alternative including a state of the art water treatment plant.  That could benefit the city and the county.  This was a joint effort by five county commissioners, Senator Gainer, and Waste Management.  We had passed a resolution and had requested our county attorney to draft an injunction stopping the deep well injection but we have put that all on hold for now.  We are pleased with this latest action.”  

Waste Management will join with Senator Gainer, Jackson County officials and other community leaders to evaluate processes other than the use of deep well injection for the disposal of wastewater at the landfill, commonly referred to as leachate. This cooperative effort will identify what above ground disposal options might meet the short and long-term needs at Springhill Landfill in an environmentally safe manner. 

All parties have agreed to step back and investigate solutions to the leachate problem.  Senator Gainer would like to commend Waste Management’s willingness to rethink this process.

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