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Middle Point vows to stop taking radioactive waste

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TMP Kelly Hite
Middle Point Landfill heard the concerns of Rutherford County citizens and government officials and vowed to discontinue its role in the Bulk Survey for Release (BSFR) program.

“I’m excited that Allied (Waste, Middle Point’s parent company,) did it voluntarily,” Sen. Jim Tracy said about Monday’s announcement. “I think they listened to the legislative delegation and the citizens of Rutherford County.”

State Rep. John Hood explained Rutherford County’s legislative delegation, which included himself, state Senators Jim Tracy and Bill Ketron, and state Represenatives Curt Cobb, Kent Coleman and Donna Rowland, met with Middle Point officials on several occasions to requested a voluntary end to participation in the program.

Middle Point complied with the request.

“Based on (the legislative delegation’s) request, as well as listening closely to other of our fellow community members, we are today voluntarily discontinuing acceptance of BSFR waste into Middle Point landfill,” said John Doyen, general manager of Middle Point Landfill.

The Municipal Solid Waste Advisory Committee had concluded earlier Monday the BSFR program, which allows dumping of low-level radioactive waste in commercial landfills, “is safe for human health and the environment.”

The committee’s decision ended a General Assembly mandated study into the safety of the program. Several public hearings were held during the study period where citizens of Rutherford County expressed their outrage about the program and mistrust in the state program, as well as Middle Point Landfill.

“They heard loud and clear from the delegation what we wanted for the public. I think they made a good decision, a wise decision to do that,” Tracy said.

But Citizens to End Nuclear Dumping in Tennessee (ENDIT) is worried that it is only a temporary decision.

“If it is voluntary, then they can resume it,” ENDIT co-founder Kathleen Ferris said. “It was a good tactical move on their part to avoid more restrictive legislation.”

Althoug Tracy is developing legislation to end all radioactive waste disposal in the state, he doesn’t believe Allied Waste would risk taking the waste again.

“People are going to watch it now. They’ve got other locations where they can dump (the waste) …,” Tracy said about the four other Tennessee landfills that accept BSFR waste.

“We’re going to watch it,” he continued. “It’s a very, very important issue to the people of Rutherford County.”

Ferris said ENDIT will continue to follow the situation at Middle Point and keep the public involved.

“I think the problem will be that the public furor will die down. … We need to keep the spotlight on what is going on there,” Ferris said.

Michelle Willard can be contacted at 869-0816 or mwillard@murfreesboropost.com.
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Members Opinions:
August 21, 2007 at 12:00am
This story needs to be aired into a made-for-TV movie/documentary. I am thinking Michael Moore....Erin Brokovich. The story is HUGE and unyielding. There is fear in every aspect of our dealings with Allied Waste, since being informed that we received 10 million pounds of radioactive waste with NO ONE knowing....including 2 County Mayors......NBC, CBS, Hollywood?

This story is not going away soon.....

August 21, 2007 at 12:00am
While attending the first BFI/County public "hearing" on the Walterhill (BFI) landfill, I ask the BFI "officials" representing the landfill interests if they could guarantee the safety of Rutherford County drinking water 100 years from now.

Their response was, "Sir, we cannot guarantee anything."

This response struck me as being conclusive.

That about sumed it up.

I attended, and spoke, at the last "public hearing" in Walterhill on the extension of the landfill. I opposed the extension on grounds of danger to our drinking water by a company that can "guarantee nothing".

No mention was made of radioactive wastes at the Walterhill meeting.

Rutherford is the victim of BFI lies.

The state of Tennessee has played their game.

Why should we now believe they will discontinue dumping what they please in the garbage mountain beside our drinking water?
August 23, 2007 at 12:00am
9:52 a.m.

I just drove down Sam Ridley Pkwy to Jefferson Pike. Within a 10 mile range, I viewed SIX dump trucks within 8 minutes. Unbelievable! SIX!
All headed to Middle Point.

My concern is this. A dump truck (coming from Nashville) passed me near Krogers on Sam Ridley and was FLYING.......speed was in excess of 70 mph. As I climbed the hill in the rear, I noticed a policeman (with radar) sitting at the Golf Course parking lot ready to stop speeding vehicles. Yet, this policeman at 9:35 a.m. did NOT stop this speeding dump truck! Why? Does Smyrna Police have a 'deal' with Nashville dump trucks NOT to stop them, even if they are traveling at high rates of speed and in an aggressive, dangerous manner??? It was crazy today.....the fact that a Smyrna policeman refuses to stop any speeding vehicle is life-threatening.
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