Editorial: Landfill issue resolved with 36-point plan
for Big Run Landfill, Boyd Co. Ky
Posted: Friday, November 27, 2015 2:00 pm
Citizens of Boyd County Environmental Coalition - CBCEC
As we understand it, the 36-point agreement regarding operations at Big
Run Landfill in Boyd County reached with the Boyd County Fiscal Court,
EnviroSolutions Holdings Inc., the corporate owners of Big Run, the
Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, and the Citizens of Boyd County
Environmental Coalition means Boyd County will cease being the happy
burial ground for garbage from throughout the northeastern United
States. Instead, it will become a much smaller operation mostly handling
solid waste from this region.
The agreement, unveiled at Tuesday
morning’s fiscal court meeting, is a wonderful early Christmas present
for area residents who have been forced to endure years of the foul
odors of rotting garbage emitting from the landfill that virtually made
it impossible for residents to sell their homes and unpleasant for them
to live in those homes.
The agreement reached between
EnviroSolutions, the fiscal court, the organization representing the
most vocal critics of Big Run Landfill and the state regulatory agency
does not call for the closing of the landfill; it simply means Big Run
will be transformed from a mega-dump — the largest landfill in Kentucky,
into a much smaller operation similar to what the closed Cooksey
Brothers Landfill near Big Run was for the many years it handed the bulk
of Boyd County’s solid waste.
Big Run Landfill is the largest
landfill in Kentucky and one of the biggest east of the Mississippi
River, accepting nearly 2 million tons of trash per year.
agreement imposes certain restrictions on the landfill’s volume of
intake, materials accepted into the landfill, how trash is transported
into the county and where it comes from.
Certain powers also have
been given to the fiscal court and citizens’ group pertaining to
information sharing about ownership, construction plans and monitoring
Under the terms of this agreement, signed by Boyd
County Chief Circuit Judge David Hagerman, the landfill will place final
cap on current operations and open a new cell for depositing waste in
an attempt to mitigate severe odor problems that caused tension between
the company and Boyd residents. That means while the landfill itself
will continue operating, the site where it now is burying waste will be
closed, capped and replaced by a new, smaller area of Big Run.
The owners of Big Run recognized months ago that landfill had lost the
public relations war and had lost the support of area residents, who
just wanted to see the landfill close. Thus, the company realized it had
to work with area residents and their political leaders if they hoped
to protect the millions of dollars the company had invested in the
landfill. That’s what EnviroSolutions did and, fortunately, members of
the fiscal court and Citizens of Boyd County Environmental Coalition
were reasonable and flexible enough to reach a fair compromise.
One has to travel no farther than Green Valley Landfill in neighboring
Greenup County to realize a large, well-managed landfill can exist in
this region without creating all the problems Big Run has. There is a
need for both Green Valley and Big Run to serve the solid waste needs of
northeastern Kentucky, southern Ohio and western West Virginia.
What this region does not need is a landfill to accept garbage from New
York, New Jersey, most of New England and elsewhere. That’s the kind of
landfill that is going out of business in Boyd County and good riddance
it will be.