Local company to build landfill despite threat of violations

A local company is moving forward with plans for a construction and demolition landfill in York even though it violates the county's current solid waste management plan.

Marty Taylor, president of Greeneagle Co., claims the solid waste plan adopted a year ago purposely eliminated a need for his landfill. Prior to that, when he got zoning approval for the facility on Quarry Road, York County said the area needed a facility.

"We expected you to honor the promise that you made to us when you granted approval for Greeneagle's facility," Taylor told York County Council last week. "We are moving forward with this process and we ask that you work with us, not against us."

Confident that DHEC will agree

At a recent county council meeting, Taylor claimed the state Department of Health and Environmental Control will support his assertions that the county's plan is invalid. He presented DHEC with evidence to back his claim and an application for his landfill Friday. The county doesn't plan on formally responding to Taylor.

New C&D landfills in the county have been a point of controversy and lawsuits for several years. Many disputed the county's solid waste plan because of vast changes made at the last minute. Included in these changes were waste projections that say the county won't need new landfills for nearly two decades. A solid waste citizens' committee is charged with revising the plan.

C&D landfills collect concrete, bricks, lumber and other debris generated by construction companies. No hazardous materials, liquids or household waste are allowed.

DHEC reviews county waste plans and provides comments, spokesman Jim Beasley said. The department hasn't given final comments on York County's plan, which was approved last February.

"We would certainly weigh Greeneagle's evidence against the plan as a whole and make a ruling on its consistency from our point of view," he said.

Taylor hopes DHEC will lead Greeneagle to the next step. York County approved the zoning for the facility in June 2006, and his company has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars developing plans over the past few years.

"Time is of the essence for us," Taylor told The Herald. "If the county will not work out these issues with us, then hopefully DHEC will decide what to do next."

County Manager Jim Baker said he doesn't anticipate a response to the comments Taylor made at Tuesday's council meeting.

"Obviously, he's (Marty Taylor) not happy with the county's decision," Baker said last week. "He's expressed his opinion to the county. I don't see much to be served from further action with litigation and those things pending."

The current plan is active while it's being reviewed by the committee, Baker said. The citizens' group, with help of consultant HDR Engineering, has talked about recycling options to reduce trash in the county and is now researching C&D landfills. County Councilman Tom Smith recently outlined questions for the committee so there's less doubt when a new plan is brought to the council.

"The plan we have now says we don't need them (landfills)," Smith said. "With our growth, we will need them in the future. But we'll need good landfill regulations when we do."

No time for waiting

Taylor acknowledged the committee's work, but isn't waiting for a new plan, which is not expected for four or five months.

"Greeneagle should immediately be able to proceed and Greeneagle should be regulated as the other facilities in the county are regulated," Taylor said.

If DHEC approves Greeneagle's permit, the county can still appeal it. DHEC's staff and the agency's board will review the solid waste management plan before ruling, said Beasley, the DHEC spokesman. These types of cases often end up arbitrated by a judge, he said.

Greeneagle hasn't filed a lawsuit against the county, but the developers of another C&D facility, proposed about the same time on Vernsdale Road in south Rock Hill, are engaged in legal action over their site.

"We are ready to stay our course," Taylor said. "We are only asking them to do what's right."