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Proposed landfill expansion and Shadow Creek Ranch

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If anyone knows where we can find a photo of one of these Blue Ridge/Republic waste trucks, please speak up. I want to print the image and keep it in my autos, for quick reference when I'm driving on 518 and 2234. It would be helpful to the city purse if we could help spot these trucks when they (inevitably) violate the terms and drive on those roads. I know I won't hesitate to call the cops if I see this. ^_^

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Group wants landfill operator to yield more

January 28, 2010 2:11 pmZen T.C. Zheng wrote:Here is an update on a grassroots group’s fight against the proposed expansion of the Blue Ridge Landfill on the east side of Fort Bend County.

Last week, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality approved a revised application for a permit to pursue the project by BFI, which is now Republic Services after a corporate merger.

The revision reflects the terms and conditions in an agreement reached between the company and the city of Pearland last year, which includes what municipal officials regarded as “substantial compromise” by the trash disposer.

Previously, three television stations opposed to the project had all struck undisclosed deals with the company, leaving the Coalition Against Blue Ridge Landfill Expansion the lone party still in the fight.

Attorney wants to further negotiate

The coalition’s lawyer, Richard Morrison, who now is the county commissioner for Precinct 1, plans to contact the company’s attorney soon to continue their negotiation in search of a solution to avoid a contested-case hearing, which is similar to a civil trial.

The revised permit application will now serve as a new basis for the negation, Morrison said.

“The city of Pearland got a pretty good deal, but I will be asking for further compromises by the company,” Morrison said, without commenting on the details.

Although a contested-case hearing was granted by the state, Pearland officials were not positive of winning the legal battle before the judges of the State Office of Administrative Hearings.

The coalition and the company broke off talks last year, but resumed negotiations after the television stations and the city dropped their opposition.

What the company wants to do

The company wants to add 1,345 acres to the 599-acre landfill, which would also raise its height from 58 feet to 170 feet over 40 years.

In a deal with the city of Pearland, the company has agreed to limit the height to a maximum of 60 feet for 12 years, and then a maximum of 130 feet for an additional eight years. Additionally, Blue Ridge has agreed to place grade breaks and landscape screening along the eastern slope of the landfill to minimize the visual impact.

The contested-case hearing, which was granted a year ago amid strong neighborhood opposition to the project, would be conducted by judges of the State Office of Administrative Hearings if no pact is reached between the company and the group.

TCEQ, which had initially issued a preliminary permit for the expansion, has the right to not follow any recommendation by the state office.

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