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What’s in the air? Commissioners approve air quality testing near landfill
eagle point

After commissioners heard concerns from neighbors last year, a planned methane conversion plant at a north Forsyth landfill will soon receive monitoring.

At a recent work session, Forsyth County Commissioners voted to approve an agreement with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for construction and services for an air quality monitoring station at Eagle’s Beak Park. Per the agreement, the total cost to the county will not be more than $390,000.

“It’s a research project,” said District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills. “It’s not to monitor odor. It’s monitoring based upon stuff to do with disease.”

In March 2018, commissioners approved rezoning about 10 acres from Agricultural District (A1) to Restricted Industrial District (M1) for Clean Eagle LLC to build and operate a methane conversion plant at Advance Disposal’s Eagle Point Landfill and approved changes to the county’s unified development code to allow for such facilities.

The proposed refinery plant would convert gases like methane and carbon dioxide to natural gas to be sold to Atlanta Gas Light.

At the time of the approval, several nearby residents voiced their displeasure with the proposed plant, which they alleged could cause health problems and impact home values.

“They have said lots of times that they think they’ve been sick or they wanted to make sure the air quality was good in that area, and this is a way it can be tracked to see if it is,” Mills said.

Mills said she hoped the air quality station would be operational for a year before the methane plant operated so data would be available both before and after the plant.

She also thanked District 9 state Rep. Kevin Tanner for his involvement in getting the project to move forward.

Data from the station will be available within 18 months of installation and will give the first year of information. After 30 months, EPD will provide a report on the first two years.

“We want to make sure we have something meaningful to provide,” said County Attorney Ken Jarrard. “We know we have a lot of folks who want to know what this says, but I'm going to take some time to get it right.”

The EPD will monitor and oversee the station.

Funds for the project will come from tipping fees from the Eagle Point Landfill.