Landfill bill gives people a voice
Madison County is a great place to grow up, raise a family, work and retire. We are blessed with good schools, loving churches, career opportunities and wonderful people. We have a bright future, so it strikes locals as most peculiar that NCL Waste garbage company has been determined to turn Madison County into the landfill capital of Mississippi.
We already are the only county in the state with two landfills. Yet, the garbage company wants to build a third dump here.
There’s been recent confusion surrounding the proposed landfill planned for a site right next to the state’s largest dump in rural Western Madison County. On February 2, the attorney for NCL Waste sent a letter to the Mississippi Department of Environment Quality asking to rescind any permits and applications related to the landfill. For a moment, it looked like the threat of the unwanted landfill was gone.
Then, just two days later on February 4, the other 50% owner of NCL Waste sent a letter to MDEQ asking them to keep all applications intact. The local bipartisan coalition fighting the project, No More Dumps, called on MDEQ to accept the first letter rescinding all applications because it appeared to meet the legal requirements to end the project, but apparently MDEQ has not responded.
Regardless, it seems this landfill continues to threaten the county’s future. NCL is still fighting, so the people of Madison County must fight back. That’s why I am so thankful two of our local elected state representatives are leading on this issue at the State Capitol.
Representatives Jill Ford (R) and Ed Blackmon (D) of Madison County authored House Bill 949, a bipartisan bill to give people a voice in the process. The bill, which passed 106 to 5 in the House, simply gives the people a vote via public referendum on whether to have multiple dumps in their counties. Now, it moves to the Senate, where a similar bill died last year.
This isn’t just about Madison County. HB 949 would give people statewide an up or down vote on multiple dumps locating in a cluster in their county. The bill would leave this up to the people of the county, and for some counties they may want the jobs, but it makes no sense for Madison County. Either way, HB 949 empowers the people with a vote.
I urge you to call Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann today at 601-359-3200 and urge him to give the people a voice. We are only asking to put the people’s interest before the interest of a big garbage company. Ask Delbert to join us in looking out for Madison County and all of Mississippi’s future by supporting HB 949.
Robert Watson is a business leader and resident of Madison County.