Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Angelo's Aggregate Materials proposes smaller Pasco landfill

The company seeking to build a politically unpopular landfill south of Dade City has submitted a scaled-back proposal to state officials, hoping to ease fears about environmental hazards.

The state Department of Environmental Protection rejected the proposed 90-acre landfill in 2009, citing the risk that a sinkhole could open up below the landfill and send poisonous waste into drinking water aquifers and the nearby Green Swamp. Angelo's Aggregate Materials appealed that decision, and that case is pending.

In the meantime, the company cut the size of the proposed landfill by two-thirds and said further study of nearby sinkholes shows a low risk to the environment.

"The proposed landfill is located … in a geologic setting much less prone to sinkholes than the rest of Pasco County," the company says in its new plan. "All of the sinkhole data support the low to very low probability of a sinkhole occurrence at the proposed landfill site."

But opponents are skeptical about the company's decision to shrink the landfill to 30 acres. The new proposal lists the remaining 60 acres as a "potential future landfill."

"It makes it a little easier for them to get the initial permit," said Carl Roth, the leader of anti-landfill group Protectors of Florida's Legacy. He said expanding the smaller site later on would likely face less scrutiny by state officials. "That's part of the landfill game, if you will."

Roth pointed to a massive sinkhole that formed under a Hillsborough County landfill in Lithia last year. He said that landfill was located in an area deemed as a "low" sinkhole risk. The Florida Geological Survey lists the Angelo's property as a moderate risk.

Roth also criticized a decision by Angelo's to reduce the thickness of a clay liner from 5 feet to 2 feet. He said the company earlier boasted that the thicker liner would give extra protection to nearby aquifers. Now that the liner will be much thinner, he said, "it's a little bit of a comedy."

The company said in its revised plan that reducing the thickness of the clay liner will have a "negligible" effect on potential leaks. Angelo's said it can reduce the thickness because it's adding soil grouting and other ground reinforcement techniques.

Roth said he's not sure if the proposal will get more favorable treatment now that DEP is controlled by Gov. Rick Scott, who has called for a more streamlined permitting process. The department rejected the original proposal under Charlie Crist's administration.

Angelo's representatives declined to comment Tuesday, though a lawyer for the company said changes to the landfill were made in response to concerns by DEP.

Even if the company secures an environmental permit, it still faces a long battle to build its landfill. It would need to persuade county commissioners to change the property's zoning classification from agricultural/residential to public or semipublic. A 2009 change to the county comprehensive plan underscored that landfills can only be built on those types of property.

Angelo's appealed that decision, but an administrative law judge ruled in favor of the county in December.

In April, a lobbyist for the company added a provision to legislation that could have made it easier for Angelo's to build the landfill over the county's objections. That provision was yanked after an angry Tampa Bay lawmaker realized it would upset county commissioners.

The company also sued Pasco County in circuit court, arguing officials made a "concerted effort" to stop the landfill by delaying applications until the county could change rules to make it harder to build the landfill. The suit charged that officials acted "intentionally without proper motive or a rational basis."

That case is on hold while lawyers for Angelo's and the county discuss mediation or a possible settlement.

Lee Logan can be reached at llogan@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6236.

Angelo's Aggregate Materials proposes smaller Pasco landfill 07/05/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 5, 2011 8:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Forecast: Remnants of tropical wave continues to bring rain through the weekend

    Blogs

    After relatively dry weather through the first half of the workweek, the tropical wave remnants continue to bring an increased threat for showers and storms across the state and Tampa Bay.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast
  2. Harvey regains tropical storm strength in Gulf of Mexico

    Blogs

    MIAMI (AP) — Harvey regained tropical storm strength as it drifted in the Gulf of Mexico toward Texas early Thursday and forecasters said it could become a hurricane.

    Leo Sermiento, left, and Emilio Gutierrez, right, fill sandbags in preparation of a tropical system on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, on South Padre Island, Texas. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered the State Operations Center to elevate its readiness level and is making state resources available for preparation and possible rescue and recovery actions amid forecasts a tropical storm will make landfall along the Texas Gulf Coast.
  3. Largest Powerball jackpot won by single ticket in Massachusetts

    Blogs

    DES MOINES, Iowa - Powerball Product Group Chair Charlie McIntyre says the $758.7 million jackpot claimed by a ticket sold in Massachusetts is the largest grand prize won by a single lottery ticket in U.S. history.

    A Powerball lottery sign displays the lottery prizes at a convenience store Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, in Northbrook, Ill. Lottery officials said the grand prize for Wednesday night's drawing has reached $700 million, the second -largest on record for any U.S. lottery game.
  4. Florida education news: Computer coding, guidance counseling, career planning and more

    Blogs

    SESSION STARTERS: State Sen. Jeff Brandes refiles legislation to allow Florida high school students to swap computer coding for foreign language credits.

  5. Rays morning after: Offense showing some life

    Blogs