ADAMS RUN -- A controversial plan to create a landfill for construction and demolition waste near the western end of Charleston County has resurfaced, with a key vote scheduled for a County Council committee in less than two weeks.
Residents of the area, environmental groups and some landowners have decried the plan, saying the landfill is not needed and could bring truck traffic and pollution.
Supporters initially said the landfill was necessary because there was nowhere else in Charleston County to dispose of construction waste. After it become widely known that there is a large construction waste landfill in North Charleston with an estimated 100 years' worth of capacity, the argument shifted to the question of location.
"We need to spread this thing evenly," said Council Chairman Teddie Pryor. "We can't keep sending this stuff to the city of North Charleston."
The plan proposed by Mount Pleasant construction company owner Tre Sheppard would require a zoning change and a change to the county's Comprehensive Plan that governs land use across the county.
The county's Planning Commission recommended denying both requests in a 7-0 vote at the beginning of 2009, but the council has yet to act.
Pryor said he plans to support the project, unless new information comes to light.
Opponents, including Councilman Dickie Schweers, are ready to fight.
"It's just an inappropriate location," Schweers said. "It's not an area where we need to start building industrial uses."
There were two public hearings on the plan last year, one of which attracted about 200 people, most of whom opposed the landfill. Each time the council was expected to debate and vote upon the landfill zoning, however, the issue was postponed, much to the frustration of the project's opponents.
"Just how many times can we expect the public to keep coming out and telling us they don't want something?" Schweers said.
Sheppard could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.
At the last public hearing, in December, Sheppard said it would be impossible for the proposed landfill to pollute well water, as some residents feared. He said plans to intercept recyclable material destined for the landfill would make the project an environmental plus.
Wilbur Jones, a long-time opponent of the landfill, said community opposition in Hollywood, Ravenel, Meggett and the unincorporated areas nearby has not diminished.
"It's in the middle of the ACE (Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto rivers) basin, in the middle of continuous wetlands," he said.
The Coastal Conservation League opposes the landfill plan, as does MeadWestvaco, which owns and plans to develop a large expanse of land nearby known as East Edisto.
Jones said he expects that opponents will turn out for the County Council committee meeting on Sept. 2, although audience members will not be allowed to speak.
"We can make them look at us," he said.
The meeting will be held in the county's Public Services Building, 4045 Bridge View Drive, North Charleston, starting at 4:15 p.m.
The Sheppard landfill proposal calls for a 102-acre site for construction and demolition waste on a 313-acre property located on U.S. Highway 17 near Parkers Ferry Road. The county owns 750 acres of land surrounding the site, purchased from the Sheppard family for $1.5 million in 1992.
The county had considered using that land for a household-waste landfill, but abandoned that idea and has tried at least once to sell the property.
Reach David Slade at 937-5552 or firstname.lastname@example.org.