BASTROP COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Two state lawmakers are trying to halt a proposed solid waste facility from moving near some neighborhoods and a future school. Lealco is in the process of getting a permit to build the waste transfer station on SH 21 near FM 812 in Cedar Creek.
County leaders have been told up to 2,500 tons of trash will be reorganized there every day and then put on larger trucks before heading to the landfill. They’ve also been told that about 300 garbage trucks could move through the area everyday.
“It’s going to ruin the neighborhood,” said Steve Chamberlain, who lives nearby. “It’s going to ruin further growth.”
Chamberlain has been among a growing group trying to be heard. The homeowners say they had a major victory when State Sen. Kirk Watson and State Rep. John Cyrier got involved. The two are pushing the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to deny the permit.
In a joint letter to TCEQ, the lawmakers said among their concerns is that the location is in the 100-year floodplain. “I strongly urge TCEQ to seriously consider the evidence presented and weigh the risk of approving a waste transfer station that can accept up to 2,500 tons of waste per day being submerged in floodwaters,” said the letter signed by the legislators.
Homeowners say Cedar Creek is near the proposed site and feeds right into the Colorado River.
“As long as we are creating waste we got to do something with it, just not at a location where it could cause a catastrophe,” said Chamberlain, who fears traffic could become deadly.
Bastrop County Commissioners and Bastrop ISD are also pushing back. The district owns 100 acres of land near that location. Bastrop ISD hopes to build a high school and is also urging TCEQ to deny the permit.
“The Bastrop ISD Board of Trustees adopted a resolution at its October 17 meeting opposing the location of the waste transfer facility because of the safety hazards it will create for student drivers, teachers, and parents,” said a statement by Kristi Lee with the district “The presence of 300 short-haul and long-haul trucks per day could have life-threatening traffic implications, and we have urged TCEQ to deny the permit.”
KXAN tried to talk with anyone at Lealco to find out if they knew about building on the floodplain, but calls have yet to be returned. TCEQ told KXAN that the permit is still being reviewed.
The Texas Department of Transportation is working on a traffic impact study. TxDOT is also looking into other road improvements.
Homeowners like Chamberlain are trying to get a meeting with Sen. Watson soon. They said the letter was a good step in that direction. No word yet on when TCEQ could make a decision.