County puts stop to illegal dumping
Grady County officials received a tip Friday of possible illegal dumping taking place at a surface mine located on Pine Park Road and immediately put a stop it, according to Code Enforcement Officer Larry Ivy.
“I got a call about noon Friday that construction debris was being dumped at the mine,” Ivy said this week.
The county code enforcement officer drove out to the mine, which is owned by Jimmie Crowder Excavating & Land Clearing, Inc., of Tallahassee, and waited a short time before a dump truck filled with construction debris arrived.
“I advised the driver that he could not dump the load and that he needed to call his boss and have him come and explain what is going on,” Ivy said.
Crowder officials appeared before the Grady County commission at its June 16 meeting, seeking a variance from the county’s special land use regulations in order to convert the existing surface mine into an inert landfill.
County officials advised the Crowder officials they would need to apply for a variance, but a variance was never applied for, according to Ivy, until about 30 minutes after he stopped the truck from dumping Friday.
Ivy estimates that 15 to 20 10-wheeler dump truck loads of construction debris, believed to be from a construction site near Archbold Hospital, had been transported and dumped at the mine location before he was alerted to the possible illegal dumping.
Ivy contacted officials with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division. Federal authorities with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have also been contacted.
The county’s code enforcement officer says EPA officials are concerned that some of the material that was dumped is not certified to be asbestos free material.
“There is the possibility that all of it will have to be loaded up and taken back out of the mine,” Ivy said.
Ivy is expecting both EPD and EPA officials to make an inspection of the site later this week.
The county official has monitored the situation since last week and believes the dumping has ceased, but he is not certain how long the dumping had been taking place before he received the tip Friday.
“The problem is they told the commissioners it was going to be road debris put in there, but this was construction debris,” Ivy said.
District 3 Commissioner Charles Norton, who resides near the site, voiced his concern with the dumping this week.
“I specifically asked at the last meeting if C&D material was going in there and we were told no. You’ve got shallow wells not 200 yards from where they were dumping, and I’ve got a problem with that. It could have an impact on the water supply,” Commissioner Norton said.
Norton also commented, “If they tell us one thing and then do something else, it makes you wonder if you can trust anything they say.”
Various companies have been hauling dirt out of the mine since the 1970s, according to Commissioner Norton. Crowder purchased the mine, which is located on a 33-acre tract, from Southern Sand Company in 1997.
Now that a variance has been applied for by Crowder, county commissioners at their upcoming meeting on Tuesday, July 7, will schedule a date for a public hearing and that hearing will be advertised.
After receiving public comment, the board will take action on the variance.