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‘Dead, dead, dead’: MDEQ likely deals death blow to Madison County landfill

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 1:14 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Plans to build a third landfill in Madison County likely were dealt a final death blow Tuesday following a vote by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Permit Board.

At its meeting on June 8, the board voted unanimously to deny a permit request from NCL Waste to build an 89-acre dumping ground on North County Line Road.

The landfill would have been the third to locate in Madison County and was opposed by numerous residents, city and county leaders.

Ridgeland Alderman at Large D.I. Smith took time off from the campaign trail to attend the meeting. He was pleased with the permit board’s decision.

“The landfill is dead, dead, dead. It has suffered a dagger in the heart,” he said. “It was obvious to the staff at DEQ there was no path for this [to go forward].”

Smith, a longtime opponent of the landfill, said several factors contributed to its demise, including the passage of a bill during the 2021 legislative session, which would have required the construction of a third municipal landfill to be approved through a ballot referendum.

The bill, H.B. 949, was authored by District 73 Rep. Jill Ford and District 57 Rep. Ed Blackmon and signed into law by Gov. Tate Reeves.

Smith also credits the city of Ridgeland, which annexed the site where the landfill would have been located, as well as residents who fought against it.

Ridgeland annexed approximately 4.9 miles of property west of its previous city limits, including the area that includes the landfill site. The Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the city’s annexation in February.

“There were a lot of people making telephone calls, a lot of people sending text messages, and a lot of people sending emails,” Smith said. “It was a huge team effort. It wasn’t one person, but literally hundreds.”

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