Austin, TX — Texas Campaign for the Environment joined Northeast Austin Landfill Neighbors United–a newly formed non-profit citizens group comprised of residents and businesses in a rapidly growing neighborhood near 290 and Springdale – as well as Travis County and State Representative Celia Israel in filing a motion today to overturn a May 7th decision by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to approve a registration for a massive garbage operation in northeast Austin.
“It’s abundantly clear this proposal is inappropriate for this neighborhood and simply not right for Austin,” said Texas State Representative Celia Israel. “By approving this registration, TCEQ has failed our community by once again aligning with a powerful corporation. That’s why I’m united with neighbors in challenging this decision.”
Waste Management, the company behind the proposal to build a trash transfer station, has a history of problems at its existing landfill, the Austin Community Recycling and Disposal Facility, including the largest fine ever received by a garbage dump in the history of Texas. The transfer station would be allowed to process nearly one millions tons of trash each year, could store overnight up to 2,500 tons in trailers covered with tarps and bring over 1,100 heavy truck trips per day through the neighborhood.
TCEQ approved the registration despite the preponderance of opposition to the transfer station by:
- Elected officials — State Representatives Celia Israel, who resides in the community, and Representative Sheryl Cole, Travis County Commissioner Jeff Travillion and Commissioner Brigid Shea, City Councilmember Natasha Harper Madison;
- Local businesses;
- Over 700 individual neighbors and their supporters/petitioners.
The TCEQ arrived at its decision despite the fact that Travis County passed a “siting ordinance” last September, which prohibits new trash operations at the site.
In addition to issues with odor, vermin, and traffic, environmental advocates cite risks presented by the proposal due to the fact that 21,000 barrels of toxic waste are buried just a few hundred yards from the site of the transfer station.
“Because the State of Texas continues to side with big polluters, hundreds of neighbors and our local elected officials are standing strong in opposition to Waste Management’s plans to keep dumping on this community for generations,” said Jeffrey Jacoby, Deputy Director of Texas Campaign for the Environment. “Frankly, it’s madness to believe allowing this irresponsible company to break ground so close to these toxic waste drums is anything but a terrible idea.”
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