Action Report: Talley Disposal Landfill Investigation
VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - Waste Pro runs Talley Disposal landfill, is known as a C&D construction debris landfill that also includes vegetative debris such as lawn trimmings.
Vancleave residents living near that landfill on Seaman Road say they are dealing with terrible smells and they believe that's because unauthorized materials are being dumped there.
Mark Slaby and Gil Akins and their families live across the street from Talley Disposal. They are son-in-law and father-in-law living on 25 acres. Their property includes a pond where they spend family time fishing with their kids and grand kids. They say... those good times are no longer as precious as they use to be, because of the landfill.
"The main deal is the pungent odor and we actually see vultures on a daily basis overhead. "said Akins. "That could only lead to, that there is some type of edible items that vultures would hang around on."
Talley Disposal used to be a dirt pit. But in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, it became a disposal site for dumping building materials from destroyed homes and businesses.
Entering the landfill, a sign displays items that are not accepted... including household garbage, tires, paint or paint cans.
Slaby said, "I would like them to enforce the law. If it's going to be a Class 1 Rubbish Site, they should only be taking in materials that are suppose to be there and stop accepting materials that don't belong there. There's household garbage bags, paint cans, a lot of tires, things that aren't suppose to be over there that they're accepting and putting under the ground."
Roger Applewhite of Waste Pro says when a load is dumped at Talley Disposal... it is inspected by staff members and a picker will go through the debris removing items not intended for the landfill.
Applewhite says on rainy, windy days, sometimes there will be a smell due to wet sheet rock and dredged mud that is dumped in the landfill.
When I was on the site, there was a slight smell and I noticed a few tires and paint cans within the landfill. A couple of loads that were dumped did contain paint cans and other plastic items, but the picker did take the time to retrieve many of those items.
Has this dump site ever been fined?
Mississippi DEQ Communications Director Robbie Wilbur says these Class 1 rubbish sites are subject to random, unannounced inspections on a periodic basis. Typically Mississippi DEQ attempts to inspect these sites three to four times a year.
The Talley Disposal site has received 23 formal compliance evaluation inspections from 2010 through 2016 and has investigated complaints from the public.
MDEQ initiated four enforcement actions... two in 2013 and two in 2015.
For the violations cited in 2013, Talley Disposal LLC was assessed a monetary penalty.
For the 2013 violations, Talley Disposal was fined $26,000 for failure to properly inspect each waste load, failure to prohibit the disposal of unauthorized waste, failure to remove that waste, failure to inspect the bagged waste, and failure to maintain accurate daily records of deliveries of solid waste to the facility.
In 2015...Talley Disposal was cited for failing to apply a minimum of six inches of earthen cover material to the waste site at least every two weeks and failing to submit the required annual report. Talley Disposal was fined $23,000.
Since Waste Pro purchased the dump in 2016 and hired Roger Applewhite to oversee operations... Talley Disposal has not received any citations.
While I was investigating, Applewhite met with homeowner Gil Akins and myself and promised to do everything he could to make sure the Talley Disposal site follows all guidelines and even gave Akins his cell phone number.
Based on the email information, including photos, that I sent to the M-D-E-Q, Communications Director Robbie Wilbur says the latest complaints will be investigated.
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