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Rep. Simmons, Ron

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Senate Passes Legislation Aimed to Halt Expansion of Camelot Landfill  print page

by: Rep. Simmons, Ron

AUSTIN – House Bill 281, filed by State Representative Ron Simmons, was passed out of the Senate on Tuesday. HB 281 will allow the City of Lewisville to have a say before the permit to expand the Camelot Landfill can be approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

"The situation surrounding the Camelot landfill is unique," Simmons said while laying the bill out on the House floor. "The landfill is wholly located within the city limits of Lewisville, but owned by the City of Farmers Branch. If the permit submitted by Farmers Branch is approved, this landfill will eventually be the highest point in Denton County."

The permit for the Camelot landfill was originally issued to the City of Highland Park in 1979, when the location of the landfill was in an unincorporated area of Denton County. Since then, Lewisville and Carrollton have expanded and annexed land around the landfill. The permit for the landfill was transferred to Farmers Branch in 2000. Famers Branch filed an application to effectively double the size of the Camelot Landfill in 2012.

"My constituents believe – and I agree wholeheartedly – that it is profoundly unfair to have one city's will imposed upon another concerning a landfill within its own jurisdiction," said Senator Jane Nelson, the Senate Sponsor of HB 281.

If the Farmers Branch application is approved, the Camelot Landfill would eventually reach a height of 725 feet. Since Farmers Branch owns Camelot, it has the ability to request an expansion without any input or approval from Lewisville, despite the fact that the landfill is located in Lewisville, miles away from Farmers Branch.

"Current regulations governing landfill expansion only address technical issues," Simmons continued, "without any consideration given to the impact on surrounding communities. It is not fair or appropriate that one city should be able to make such an important decision for another city."

HB 281 applies only to a municipally owned Type 1 solid waste landfill that is located within one municipality, but owned by a different municipality. The bill requires TCEQ, before approving an application to expand the capacity of such a landfill, to receive approval from the governing body of the municipality in which the landfill is located.

"Area legislators and Lewisville and Carrollton city officials have worked together to address this issue for several years," Simmons said. "With Governor Abbott's signature, HB 281 will give the people of Lewisville a voice when it comes to what happens in their city."

Ben Lancaster

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