The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has scheduled a public meeting for October 25th to hear public input and have informal discussion on a proposal by the City of Farmers Branch to expand and increase the height of their Camelot Landfill in Lewisville.
The meeting will be held Thursday, October 25th, 2012 at 7:00 p.m., at Creekview High School, 3201 Old Denton Road, Carrollton, Texas, 75007.
The cities of Lewisville and Carrollton are both in opposition to the expansion due to groundwater contamination in monitoring wells near the landfill. Camelot, and nearby DFW Landfill (Mount Lewisville) sit on opposite sides of the Trinity River Elm Fork. Carrollton and Lewisville (Through Dallas Water Utilities) draw a portion of their municipal water supply from downstream of the landfills. At its recent budget retreat, the City of Lewisville authorized $350,000 be set aside for possible litigation expenses over the proposed expansion.
Camelot landfill is in the Lewisville city limits, but was owned by Farmers Branch prior to its annexation. We had asked Farmers Branch for comment, but they have declined to respond to our last inquiry.
Farmers Branch does not have a residential recycling program for its citizens, which typically means more household waste per person goes to the landfill instead of being reused. They do offer two drop-off locations where residents can haul their own recyclable materials, and an additional two for paper only.
Unlike Mount Lewisville, the Camelot Landfill does not pay a host fee to the city. Lewisville currently collects an estimated $1.7 million per year in host fees, amounting to almost 2.7% of the city's total revenue.
Under Lewisville City Ordinance, Farmers Branch must seek a specific use permit from the City in order to change the use of Camelot. Farmers Branch has sought SUPs in the past, but chose to take their application directly to TCEQ for this expansion, bypassing the City of Lewisville.
Farmers Branch cites a provision of the Texas Health and Safety code that prevents cities from prohibiting solid waste operations where a municipal solid waste permit already exists, or is applied for. Arguably, Lewisville is not seeking to prevent Camelot from operating, but rather to conform to their current specific use plan, with regards to height and footprint.
TCEQ is accepting public comments online, in addition to the meeting.
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