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Fiscal Court response to proposed construction of landfill


Hancock County Fiscal Court received a request letter on July 25, 2022 from GN Excavating that proposed the construction of a Contained Landfill on their property located on Poplar Grove Road.

Pursuant to KRS 224.40, Hancock County was required to notify the public, hold a comment period and hearing, and to review the current 2018-2022 Solid Waste Management Plan to determine if this request fits in line with the county’s implementation of the plan. Hancock County, in compliance to KRS 224 held 30 day public comment period and held a public hearing on September 19, 2022 at 6 pm CT at the Hancock County Career Center.

This comment period and hearing were held to get comments from the public regarding the Solid Waste Management Plan Implementation Schedule currently in place. On September 20, the fiscal court met and determined that the proposed construction of a Contained Landfill was not currently planned for in the Solid Waste Management Plan. Therefore, the request to begin construction was denied by the Hancock County Fiscal Court and The Division of Waste Management until KRS 224.40 could be followed accurately.

The following is a summary of the comments received from the Sept 19, 2022 public hearing and a response to comments required pursuant to KRS 224.

1.       A request was received to see something from the environmental consultant and from the geologist.

2.       A question was asked what would happen if Daviess County stopped taking the county’s trash.

3.       A concern was stated about littered roads, increase of traffic that impact the safety of residents, smell, various waste types, waste transport by train, and the expense to the county being more than the profit.

4.       A concern was stated that the three big issues facing landfills are toxins, greenhouse gasses, and leachate, airborne contamination.

5.       A concern was stated that without a local landfill, disposal for business and residents will be more expensive.

6.       A concern was stated that the gentlemen proposing to construct and own the landfill already has problems with foul odor, and runoff in streams where the materials are not properly covered.

7.       A concern that sewage could be shipped to the proposed landfill from the entire state.

8.       Statements were made concerning the benefit of the landfill to the county through the creation of jobs, supporting industry, lowering costs of disposal for residents.

9.       Statements were made that landfills in general do not attract big industry.

10.   A concern was stated about out of area (out of state/county) waste being accepted at the proposed landfill.

11.   A question was asked about who would pay for an increase in the capacity on the sewage treatment plants to handle leachate runoff collection.

12.   A concern was stated that mismanagement of the landfill will negatively impact the environment and human health.

13.   A question was asked on who would be responsible to pay to build and manage the landfill.

14.   A question was asked who would be held liable for the landfill’s compliance status.

15.   A concern was stated about the proximity to public schools, assisted living residents, and institutions.

16.   A concern was stated regarding a drop in property values due to the proximity to the landfill

17.   A question was asked about what measures will the county take to restrict the types of waste disposed of at the landfill.

18.   A question was asked about the sufficiency of financial bonding to close a landfill.

19.   A concern was stated that there is no Federal EPA in Kentucky and that the state runs it with political influence.

Response to comments:

Pursuant to KRs 224.40, 224.43-310 and 22.43-345, Hancock County Fiscal Court is the governing body of Hancock County and must manage waste in the jurisdiction. This includes the creation of a Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) which is updated every five years.

The SWMP follows KRS in its design to include planning, designing, implementing and assessment of solid waste management practices in Hancock County by the evaluation and implementation of collection, diversion, disposal, and funding of all solid waste best practices within that 5 year planning cycle.

Each activity relating to the management of waste in Hancock County is described and implemented with the oversight of the Division of Waste Management. The Division of Waste Management reviews and assists the county for compliance to Solid Waste regulations and statutes. Hancock County Fiscal Court is the governing body that will make decisions in regards to how waste is managed in the county.

Pursuant to 224.40, any request to construct a new facility or expand an existing one will be determined by the County based on need, function, and operations. This process of determination must be included into the SWMP before any permitting by the Division of Waste Management or construction can begin.

The determination required by KRS 224 from the county must include a review of the current SWMP and its implementation schedule to verify that any new facility is currently planned for and is listed in the SWMP. During this review, KRS 224 requires Hancock County to public notice any request to determine any proposal to be consistent with the SWMP, hold a 30 day public comment period and hearing on consistency with the current SWMP before finalizing any decision regarding consistency with the current SWMP.

As stated above in the summary, Hancock County fulfilled the requirements stated in KRS 224.40 and on Sept 20, 2022 passed a resolution that the current request was NOT CONSISTENT with the SWMP currently in place. The resolution was sent to the proposed facility requestor and the Division of Waste Management. The determination process for GN Excavating’s request letter with the current SWMP is complete.  A copy of this letter can be viewed in the Judge Executives office.

A consensus of the comments from the public at the September 19, 2022 hearing are outlined above in a random numerical order. The Hancock Fiscal Court reviewed the comments and considered any and all related to the SWMP and the determination of consistency pursuant to KRS 224.

As it relates to the public questions and comments above, the Hancock County Fiscal Court cannot fully answer or respond as the request submitted by the landfill proposer did not include any specifics relative to those questions and comments. While Hancock County’s five year Solid Waste Management Plan can be amended, that same information requested by the public must be presented to the Hancock County Fiscal Court by the proposer before changes to the plan can be considered.

SWM Planning consists of a continual process of consistency review, determination, and amendments to the SWMP and are outlined in KRS 224.40, 224.43 and 401 KAR 49:011. In summary of these statutes and regulations, the Division of Waste Management has provided guidance documents and steps that must be followed in order to complete any addition to current waste practices. This packet can be viewed in the Judge Executives office.

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