HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - By Jessica Bowman – email
HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Harrison County leaders are claiming victory in the battle to keep oil waste out of a local landfill. During a meeting Thursday with supervisors, BP and Waste Management, an agreement was reached to no longer dispose of the oily waste at the Pecan Grove landfill in Pass Christian.
"It starts immediately," Harrison County Supervisor Marlin Ladner said. "They've agreed no waste at all would be deposited at that landfill."
Ladner spent several weeks objecting to tar balls filling the Pecan Grove landfill.
"I think in the long run, and in the short run, I think, it's a tremendous benefit to our citizens. I think they're going to be relieved. I'm relieved. I'm happy we were able to reach this agreement," said Ladner.
According to BP Waste Management Coordinator Lloyd Dunlap, the company is now looking at other ways to handle the oily mess.
"Because we have decided to no longer put no oily material into the landfill, we want to concentrate on reusing and recycling that material," Dunlap said.
The company was in the process of finding another place to send the oily waste over the past several weeks, but he said certain steps had to be taken before a change in location could be made.
"This would take a while to find out what the oily material is, what the best use for it is," Dunlap said. "And just from a combination of getting that info out, being able to characterize this material and find the places that will take it and want to take it, kind of happened coincidence at the same time."
Recycling the waste material would be a good alternative Ladner said. He also added that this final agreement is a great one for the residents of the county.
"I think it's critical. I think it protects our citizens, protects our water systems and we did not know the long term affects of the potential of that oil waste in that landfill. Now, we don't have to be concerned about that in that particular area," said Ladner.
As for the oil that has already been dumped into the landfill, it will remain at Pecan Grove. The oil in the staging areas will remain in dumpsters for now. According to Ladner, BP and Waste Management will eventually have to remove it or recycle it. However, it will not be placed in the Pecan Grove landfill.