Former Jefferson Parish president reveals what he thinks is causing landfill odor

Former Jefferson Parish president reveals what he thinks is causing landfill odor

JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) –

More information will soon be released regarding the Jefferson Parish landfill that some say is causing a bad odor. 

A meeting is scheduled for Friday afternoon. Neighbors have complained the Jefferson Parish landfill is causing a persistent bad smell. In fact, some have joined a class action lawsuit over it. 

The current and former administration continue to point fingers over who is to blame for the landfill issues.

In a FOX 8 exclusive Thursday, Jefferson Parish President, Mike Yenni, said the previous administration initially let the company managing the landfill out of work on what’s called the leachate collection system without council approval. Leachate is the liquid that drains from the landfill and some believe it’s causing the bad smell. 

Former Parish President John Young says those claims aren’t true.

He says under his administration the company was required to do additional work on the landfill. He also said that process was done in an open and transparent manner with council approval.

Young said Yenni has been in office for three years, and the smell complaints started within the last year.

"The Yenni administration started accepting liquid industrial waste in late fall of 2017," said Young. "They just discontinued that as they stated at their press conference, that the council approved that, but, that sort of coincides with I’m told the odors that people are now complaining about. Liquid industrial waste is very smelly. We did not accept any liquid industrial waste during the course of my administration."

The Louisiana Landfill Company issued the following statement regarding the foul odors:  

Louisiana Regional Landfill Company (LRLC) (formerly known as IESI LA Landfill Corporation) has been informed that the Jefferson Parish Council is holding a Special Council Meeting, Friday, August 17, related to odor issues in and around the towns of Waggaman, Harahan, and River Ridge, Louisiana.  The Council never formally invited or requested LRLC to attend the meeting.  

LRLC operates the active portion of the Jefferson Parish Landfill (known as Phase 4A) pursuant to a contract between LRLC and Jefferson Parish.  Jefferson Parish is responsible for the landfill gas collection system and over 90% of the leachate system. Since 2013, LRLC has been responsible for (i) receiving, inspecting, placing, compacting and covering waste at the active face of the landfill, (ii) operating the scale at the landfill, and (iii) developing additional disposal capacity through the construction of lined landfill space to serve the growing needs of the Parish.  LRLC has at all times operated the Landfill in compliance with its contractual obligations and under the direction and supervision of Jefferson Parish, which has approved all waste accepted at the Landfill.

Regarding the allegations of foul odors coming from the Landfill, LRLC is and will continue to coordinate and work closely with the Parish and the LDEQ to identify and resolve any potential issues at the Landfill that may be contributing to odors in the area.  The Landfill’s gas collection and control system is designed to capture landfill gases which cause odors.  Jefferson Parish operates and maintains the landfill gas collection and control system at the Landfill, not LRLC.  Jefferson Parish also operates much of the leachate system.  It is well documented that the landfill gas collection and control system at the Landfill does not function properly. On July 20, 2018  LRLC offered to take over the repair and operation of the landfill gas collection and control system for Phase III-B and Phase IV-A of the Landfill for 90 days at LRLC’s sole cost and expense.  On July 27, 2018, Mr. Keith Conley, Parish COO, declined that offer and has directed LRLC to coordinate all activities associated with gas collection throughout the Landfill and leachate collection and removal in Phases 1, 2, and 3 with Mr. Brian DeJean of River Birch Landfill.

LRLC takes pride in its operations at the Jefferson Parish Landfill. The Landfill plays an important economic role for Jefferson Parish, serving many hundreds of communities, businesses, and individuals. We employ 16 people directly and spend many millions of dollars annually with local businesses to operate and maintain the Landfill. This location has been a landfill since the late 1970s, and is surrounded by other landfills and facilities that generate odors.

The Company regrets that recent lawsuits have been filed against Jefferson Parish, LRLC, and others making claims concerning alleged odors emanating from the Landfill and seeking money damages.  LRLC will vigorously defend these allegations. Because this matter is in active litigation, we cannot provide any further specifics at this time.

Yenni responded to Young’s comments regarding the liquid industrial waste saying, 

"John Young let the waste management company off the hook and he stuck Jefferson Parish taxpayers with the bill. He is looking for a way out.  The liquid waste was stopped weeks ago and the odor persists.  The problem is the neglect of the Young administration and we are fixing his 6 years of kicking the can down the road. “

Copyright WVUE 2018. All rights reserved. 

Published at Fri, 17 Aug 2018 16:13:00 +0000

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