BASTROP COUNTY, Texas - People in Cedar Creek are fighting a proposed waste transfer station a private company wants to build in their community.
A waste transfer station collects garbage from surrounding communities. That waste is then compacted and reloaded onto larger trucks which transfer it to a landfill.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is currently considering the application by LEALCO. The station would be located on State Highway 21 just north of the intersection with FM 812.
“It’s a problem waiting to happen,” said James Hodnett who lives near the site.
The TCEQ is considering granting a permit to waste company LEALCO, which submitted an application proposing a new waste transfer site in Cedar Creek.
“You're looking at having a waste disposal site that's just been stuck in your backyard and it got our attention pretty quick,” Hodnett said.
James said Cedar Creek is already growing faster than State Highway 71 can handle.
“Add to that equation another few hundred trucks of various size and speed trying to negotiate in and out of that already bottleneck traffic arrangement. It's a mess,” said Hodnett.
Another concern for Hodnett is the effect on the environment. The proposed site is located in the Cedar Creek watershed. James worries any runoff could contaminate drinking water there.
“Just the perceived impact to that natural environment seems pretty questionable on why you would put something that's going to potentially have very hazardous materials brought to it,” Hodnett said.
Several neighbors in Cedar Creek have formed a committee to communicate their concerns with TCEQ.
“Our bottom line, I think with everyone, is keeping a catastrophe from happening,” said Steve Chamberlain who is also fighting the proposed transfer station.
While people in the area know some sort of waste management is necessary, they believe there are better placement options that haven't been considered.
“Until we come up with a garbageless society, we've got to have these stations. However, they don't need to be placed where they put the community at risk, with the traffic problems and the flooding problems, it's going to put the community at risk,” Chamberlain said.
Monday, TCEQ held the last public comment hearing on the issue.
Neighbors would like to see a traffic study and an environmental impact study done on the site before TCEQ considers granting a permit