DEQ issues order requiring HMM to extinguish landfill fires

Aug 07, 2014

DEQ announced today that an Order to Close was issued to Harrelson Materials Management, Inc. (HMM). The order was signed by DEQ Secretary Peggy Hatch. The Order to Close requires HMM to extinguish fires and subsequently close the company’s landfill on Russell Road in Shreveport.

Consulting and coordinating with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Department also approved a Fire Mitigation Plan to be implemented in conjunction with the Order to Close. The plan focuses on extinguishing the fires that have generated smoke and flames at the facility. The landfill has drawn complaints from area residents since 2010.

The closure order and approval of the fire mitigation plan are to be completed in accordance with the amended DEQ declaration of emergency and administrative order issued Aug. 7.

The landfill has been the subject of a series of public meetings organized by city and state officials over the course of the past few months. Harrelson Materials Management Inc. holds a construction and demolition landfill permit that expires Oct. 23. The company had applied to DEQ to renew that application but withdrew its request July 18, writing that continuing present operations is “no longer a viable option.”

Under the DEQ plan, the landfill will be disassembled, the subterranean fires extinguished and the waste returned to the landfill and covered with soil in compliance with state solid waste regulations. The work will be overseen by the DEQ, whose personnel will visit the site daily.

DEQ officials estimate the fire mitigation should be completed in about six months, but the plan has provisions for extensions which the company must request in writing. Closure may take several months to complete and will be followed by a monitoring period after the landfill is capped.

“I think this is the best thing to happen for the people of the Martin Luther King area and the city of Shreveport. They will not have to suffer any more all the smoke and hassle that this landfill has given them these last 20 years,” said Sen. Greg Tarver, who represents District 39 in the Louisiana Senate and who organized several of the public meetings.