DADE CITY — County commissioners on Tuesday granted approval to Angelo's Aggregate Materials to expand a landfill project in east Pasco.
It's not what you think.
The commission did not take any action on Angelo's request for a new household waste dump that sparked a years-long war between Pasco and the company. That battle still rages on several fronts.
Rather, the project approved Tuesday simply allows Angelo's to process old tires and chunks of concrete at the construction debris landfill it has operated since 2004.
Skeptical commissioners granted approval only after getting assurances from staffers that it would not be a foot in the door on Angelo's more controversial plan.
"My opinion is this does not create any sort of precedent that the board should worry about," said County Attorney Jeff Steinsnyder.
Angelo's owns a mine and landfill operation off Enterprise Road east of Dade City. It already has a permit to dispose of construction debris such as tires and concrete. But the tires must be shredded and concrete broken up before Angelo's can bury the material.
The company wanted special permission from the county to process that material on site. So it asked to rezone two 15-acre parcels to allow those specific uses.
After the company fills the first parcel, it would move to the second. But it could not process material on both parcels at once.
Commissioner Ted Schrader, whose district includes the landfill, was most skeptical, peppering questions to county staffers and Angelo's lawyer.
Schrader asked the company to justify why it needed so much acreage. He asked what the county's recourse is if the company snubs restrictions on the plan.
In the meantime, the county remains a fierce critic of Angelo's other proposal for a new landfill that would handle household waste. Officials have said the project is close to the Green Swamp and could pollute drinking water.
Department of Environmental Protection officials recently rejected a new permit application for Angelo's to build a scaled-down 30-acre landfill. It was the second permit rejection since 2009. The company is now appealing the 2009 decision before an administrative law judge.
The company has also sued the county, saying it enacted new rules designed to prohibit the household garbage landfill from being built.