Oct 09, 2014
Baton Rouge - DEQ and the State Fire Marshal’s Office announced today that Ferrara Fire Apparatus, Inc., a fire fighting company from Holden, has been contracted to extinguish underground fires at the Harrelson Materials Management landfill on Russell Road in Shreveport. Infrared images obtained from a State Police helicopter overflight on Sept. 18 and subsequent investigations on the site revealed that an extensive network of smoldering fires underlies large areas of the demolition and construction landfill.
“As part of our mission to protect human health and the environment, we have instructed Ferrara to immediately begin preliminary work to extinguish the fires as soon as possible,” DEQ Secretary Peggy Hatch said.
The contract is the first step in the process to extinguish the fire and ultimately close the landfill in accordance with state environmental regulations.
“Our office will ensure that this fire is extinguished in a very quick and safe manner. We have conducted preplanning and developed a strategy to mitigate this incident, and feel confident that a positive outcome will be reached. We have and will continue to conduct regular briefings with the local responders so to maximize the safety of the public,” State Fire Marshal Butch Browning said.
The landfill was closed for business on Sept. 16 after Hatch issued a revised declaration of emergency and administrative order directing the operator to “immediately cease any and all receipt of C&D waste at the landfill. All legal authorization to operate the landfill is hereby revoked.” HMM had already agreed to close the landfill and had submitted a fire mitigation plan of its own, but Hatch and Browning found that the company’s response was inadequate and ordered a state takeover of the process because of the immediacy of the threat that fire and smoke at the site pose.
DEQ and the Office of the State Fire Marshal will maintain a presence at the site during operations and air monitoring will be conducted.