I submitted a couple of letters to The Sun News this past year concerning the expansion of the Horry County Solid Waste Authority landfill. I received a few personal inquiries about the letters but never read or heard of any action taken by those who live around the landfill except for the members of the Facility Issue Negotiations committee that was mandated by the Department of Health and Environmental Control to negotiate with the SWA.
According to The Sun News front-page article on Feb. 1, DHEC has approved the expansion giving the residents 15 days to appeal their decision. What a bunch of rubbish, pardon the pun. This proposed expansion was a setup from the onset and the residents should not waste their precious time debating it with DHEC or the Solid Waste Authority. The good ol' boys of the SWA, the so-called board of directors, the County Council along with DHEC held hands during the entire process. Not one of these individuals was in opposition or was concerned about the nearby residents who will have to endure the plague of the expansion.
What really gets me is that county spokesman John Long uttered that the SWA will only get one more chance for a landfill in Horry County. So let us pile a mound of trash 240 feet in the air at the present site to bide some time. This is a bunch of malarkey. One can only guess who is pulling his strings. Horry County is a huge area with lots of available land for more landfills. And don't cry poor mouth. When the economy turns around, and it will, this county will become a boomtown of retirees.
I sat in on the panel of the FIN committee and its negotiations with the SWA. These men and women worked very hard to enact 30 issues for negotiation. These in-depth proposals were tightly written and should have been taken seriously by the SWA. Only six of these proposals were acceptable by the SWA and were the lowest priority. One of the proposals was mandatory recycling.
It's been over a year now, and I personally don't see this issue being handled very well by the SWA. The main issues remained status quo and never got off the ground. These proposals were sent to the board of directors, which I feel is a committee set up by the County Council, and which unanimously approved the expansion along with the proposals and sent it to the County Council. Need I say more?
Now comes Nancy Cave, North Coast Office director of the Coastal Conservation League, who is looking into the 15-day appeal of the expansion. Where was she in the past year during the negotiations? The FIN committee could have used her as a consultant. If she and her group decide to appeal, it will cost them a $100 filing fee. I can't believe it. If I or anyone else wants to appeal the expansion to DHEC, I have to submit $100 to do so. Ridiculous.
The writer lives in Conway.