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Waste disposal company files court petition for Galena landfill - KOAM TV 7

Waste disposal company files court petition for Galena landfill

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CHEROKEE COUNTY, KANSAS -

A waste disposal company files a court petition against Cherokee County commissioners.  It involves land that the City of Galena, Kansas owns and intends to turn into a landfill.  Jordan Disposal contends that the county should "do its job."

The petition from Jordan Disposal includes a demand for the Cherokee County Commission to do its job as the planning and zoning authority.  The disposal company has been working with the City of Galena since at least April of 2014 for a new landfill.

"You say, why not Pittsburg or Girard or somewhere else?  The business relationship that we've had with Jordan successfully operating our C&D landfill seemed to be a perfect fit," says Galena Mayor Dale Oglesby.

The court petition states that to get a landfill, Galena must first get a landfill permit authorized by the Cherokee County Commission.  After about four months of city officials discussing their intent for this new landfill, but receiving no authorization from county commissioners, an attorney for the City of Galena demanded an answer from the county.

County commissioners sent a reply to Galena in July of last year, stating the county's waste management plan says there's no need for a new landfill in the county.  Furthermore, the watershed for the proposed site drains immediately to Shawnee Creek, then to Spring River.  County commissioners also say the proposed site is dangerously one-half mile away from a well that supplies drinking water to county residents.

"If it was, then the state would reject it.  These things are all carefully controlled by the state and the federal law," says Oglesby.

At issue, though, is whether or not the county's responses answered two questions required by the KDHE:  Would the landfill be consistent with the solid waste management plan, and would it also be compatible with surrounding lane use?

"They're not asking for their approval or disapproval.  They're asking them to answer a couple of questions on the application, of which they have refused to do that," says Oglesby.

The City of Galena sent the landfill permit request to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment without the county giving approval for the project.  The KDHE said the permit request was incomplete, so there will be no landfill approval for the time being.

The court petition only asks for county commissioners to answer two questions, it does not seek financial retribution.  An attorney representing the Cherokee County Commission in this case has not returned our call for comment on this story.  Jordan Disposal declined our request for an interview.

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