County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

BOC Hears Again of Landfill Stench, Waste Truck Leakage

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By DIANNE ALWARD-BIERY
Cleaver Senior Staff Writer

HARRISON – Over the course of many years, Harrison area resident Ray Elliott has approached the Clare County Board of Commissioners with his complaint of hazardous spills and malodors wafting in from the Northern Oaks Landfill facility west of his home on N. Clare Avenue.

He again approached the BOC at the May 15 meeting, this time invoking reference to “Dark Waters” as he described the waste truck leaking as being so much, it runs in the drains.

“I’m coming up here again, because it’s still happening – I’m still having a problem with this,” Elliott said, adding that his belief that since he has talked about the problem, the company is allowing its trucks to leak all over the place. He noted that new drains had been put in to stop the pollution from running into homes, but now it’s even worse.

“We cannot get the smell taken care of, and we cannot get waste trucks from leaking nasty stuff – I mean horrible,” he said. “Like I said for that movie “Dark Waters” – that stuff is everywhere. It’s bad. I mean come to the south end right now and look at the trails. How come we can’t get help with this stuff? What’s going on that our town doesn’t realize that this is right next to our schools, right next to our drinking water – and we cannot get help with it.”

Elliott said he has talked to the Health Department, talked to the EPA, and he believes they’re doing the same thing as in the movie: not paying attention to what’s going on because it is only one person who’s sick.

Commissioner Dale Majewski responded, trying to provide some perspective on what the BOC could and could not do in this situation.

“Our only avenue is to go to these agencies to seek help,” he said.

Elliott said then the BOC needs to press on it, which Majewski said is being done. Elliott persisted, saying he was not joking, not trying to threaten anyone, isn’t seeking money or anything else – he just wants to live in his home.

“The other day I walked out to my garage and I couldn’t even breathe in it – it’s bad,” he said.

“From our standpoint, we can still keep pushing these agencies,” Majewski assured. “In the ultimate end, it’s up to these agencies.”

Elliott responded by saying that in the end, it is up to the people in this town to take care of one another.

“Isn’t that why we’re a community here?” he asked. “That we take care of each other?”

Elliott continued, noting that he has been dealing with this issue for 15 years, has gone through cancer and is going through it again, and that there are hundreds of people calling in sick in Hayes Township.

“We will keep pushing about it,” Majewski said.

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