FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Forsyth County has hired environmental attorney Gerald Pouncey to study the county’s issues with the northwest Eagle Point Landfill.
County Attorney Ken Jarrard said the county already had an environmental consultant, but the need for an environmental attorney is new.
Pouncey is a specialist in environmental law for Morris, Manning and Martin, LLP in Atlanta. He was also involved in environmental remediation as well as many other issues, Jarrard said.
The Board of Commissioners requested an environmental attorney be brought on to help the county address concerns with proposed expansion of the landfill.
The board voted to conduct its own environmental assessment of the landfill and hire an environmental engineer to serve as a consultant.
The issue surfaced earlier this year when Clean Eagle requested a rezoning of 10 acres for a proposed recycling plant totaling more than 15,000 square feet and five parking spaces.
In a letter to nearby residents, Clean Eagle attorney Christopher Light said the purpose of the recycling facility would be to collect the “existing methane gas emitted from the adjacent landfill and refine it to produce a usable natural gas for consumer use.”
County Commission Chairman Todd Levent, a letter to the Environmental Protection Division, said Eagle Point is one of the busiest private landfills in the state, with records showing it receives more than 5,000 tons of waste daily.
The waste often consists of soil, sludge and asbestos and the majority comes from outside the county, according to citizens’ group Stop Trashing Forsyth and the Etowah.
Amy Leurart, who serves on the organization’s steering committee wrote a letter to Gov. Nathan Deal listing common issues.
The existence of such landfills in Georgia that allow distant municipalities, counties and other states to truck their solid waste, asbestos, hydro fracking waste, ash and contaminated soil away into “someone else’s community is at odds with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division’s stated mission to ‘encourage the reduction, reuse and recycling of materials,’” Leurart wrote.
Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills said this is a serious issue with serious implications.
“This has serious revenue implications to the county,” Mills said. “We wouldn’t be talking about this if it wasn’t serious. It’s very important and complicated.”