DEQ issues Administrative Order to cease certain Shreveport landfill operations

Jun 26, 2014

Baton Rouge - Today, the Department of Environmental Quality issued an administrative order requiring a Shreveport landfill owned by Harrelson Material Management, Inc. to cease receiving and disposing of new material, which is believed to be causing fire and smoke issues at the landfill site. DEQ issued the order out of an abundance of caution and is currently testing environmental conditions at the site and monitoring the air in the area.

Secretary Peggy Hatch said, “DEQ continues to work with local officials and the fire departments to ensure this company is held accountable for ceasing operations and the cause of the smoke. We are continuing to test the area and will keep the public informed of all developments.”

The order directs Harrelson Material Management Inc. to “refrain from receiving and disposing of new waste, and from any and all other activity that may cause or contribute to smoldering and/or fires at or in the landfill, except digging, covering, and compacting waste as necessary to extinguish and prevent combustion.” The order also requires the landfill’s operator to submit a revised version of a fire mitigation plan by July 1 so that the fire can be stopped. Under the order, the landfill operator must submit weekly written reports to DEQ documenting the plan’s implementation. An emergency declaration was also included in the order out of an abundance of caution.

DEQ has already conducted more than 25 site visits to the facility, and has an already existing active Cease and Desist order related to the site, which instructs the company to “immediately cease and desist operations of any and all activities that may cause or contribute to smoldering and/or fires at or in the landfill, except digging, covering, and compacting areas as necessary to extinguish combustion.” That order expires June 30, which is why the stronger administrative order to cease operations related to taking new material. DEQ responders continue to be in communication with the Shreveport Fire Department and local and state officials, including the state Fire Marshal and Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover. DEQ also attended a public meeting with Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover on the campus of Southern University at Shreveport to keep members of the community informed, and the Department will continue to do so.

Air sampling at the site was conducted by DEQ on Friday, June 20th , and the federal U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from June 21-22. The results of the sampling have not yet been received and analysis is ongoing. The public will be made available of these results as soon as they are available. DEQ will continue to conduct perimeter, site and community monitoring at the Harrelson site until the situation is remedied.