It appears issues surrounding a north Forsyth landfill may not be settled this week.
Forsyth County commissioners are scheduled to discuss a rezoning request for a conditional use permit at a regular meeting on Thursday to allow Clean Eagle RNG LLC to move ahead with a plan to rezone 10.4 acres from agriculture district (A1) to restricted industrial district (M1) for a gas refinery plant at Eagle Point Landfill, located at 8880 Old Federal Road in north Forsyth.
However, District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills said the item will likely be postponed as the county, the landfill owners and area residents work on a memorandum of understanding relating to the planned expansion of the landfill, a separate issue.
“In talking to legal and other commissioners, we feel as if we need to resolve the Advance Disposal memorandum of understanding with the county and the citizens before we move forward with Clean Eagle,” Mills told the Forsyth County News on Tuesday. “We are hoping to do that in a very timely manner and, for that reason, we think that this issue with Clean Eagle will in all likelihood be postponed this month.”
Mills said she has attended numerous meetings over the last month with concerned parties.
The proposed refinery plant would convert gases like methane and carbon dioxide to natural gas to be sold to Atlanta Gas Light. Commissioners previously discussed the plant on Aug. 3 and postponed the decision to Thursday’s meeting.
The plant would total 15,730 square feet with five parking spaces.
Mills said the planned expansion of the landfill is not handled by the county.
“That’s a state process, and we have no say in the expansion,” she said. “I mean, it doesn’t come to us whatsoever. The expansion is decided on by (Georgia Environmental Protection Division), and it’s a state process.”
Still, many who oppose the expansion have also voiced concerns over the refinery plant, and Mills said the county is hoping to get all issues settled before moving ahead.
“It’s all a part of the conversation that we’re having with the community and upsetting to the community, so they’re all issues that are intertwined in some way,” Mills said. “We’ve got to take care of issue one before we take care of issue two.”
Opponents of the expansion have raised issues with potential smell and environmental issues, particularly for the nearby Etowah River.
Mills said she would like to see state lawmakers take a look at the process and requirements for landfills.
“I think there’s a lot of gaps that exist in today’s process that the state has put in place,” she said. “I wish that our state delegation would look at that process and where the gaps exist and try to fix some of that.”
District 27 state Sen. Michael Williams issued a statement on Tuesday on landfills, saying Georgia needs to focus on its own trash and not be used for storing waste, particularly coal ash, from surrounding states.
“Georgia cannot be the dumping ground of the South. Our citizens deserve better than garbage and coal ash from surrounding states being dumped in their backyards,” he said. “We must do all we can to protect the wellbeing and health of our citizens, and that starts with ensuring their water supply and property is not affected by overflowing landfills.”