Polk County Commissioners Suing over Biowaste Disposal
COPPERHILL, Tenn. (WDEF)- Polk County Commissioners are trying to combat what they are saying is a violation of a waste disposal resolution passed in September.
Copperhill, along with its sister town McCaysville in Fannin County, Georgia, were built by the copper mines that surrounded them.
However since 19-7, the mines have gone silent, and have largely been dormant outside of small operations.
However, new activity there is causing a stir.
A Polk County Commissioner confirmed to News 12 that the county is currently pursuing a lawsuit in relation to bio waste disposal at the Copperhill Industries site.
It sits just on the outside of town along Highway 68.
While the commissioner would not comment on the lawsuit itself, they did say that a class a trucking company from Georgia was at the center of the lawsuit.
They cited a resolution that was passed in September by the Polk County Commission.
In this resolution, commissioners allege that biosolids are being dumped at the site and are causing issues for residents and tourists alike.
Copper Hill benefits from a train that comes from Blue Ridge, Georgia that brings visitors to town.
The resolution says that the community gets comments like quote, “It smells really bad here” and “Does it always small like this around here?”
The mayor of Copper Hill, Kathy Stewart, told us that the site sits just outside of the city limits, just outside of their purview.
She did say that residents of the town have lodged complaints about the smell that comes from the plant.
However, she did also add that the owner of the plant in her experience has worked with the city to try to mitigate the effects on residents.
In Polk County’s resolution, they asked for the disposal of bio-solids to be stopped, along with a request to the state to pass a law banning these disposals.
Denali, a partner with Copperhill Industries, says they are a national recycler of organic materials.
In a statement to News 12, they defended their usage of the land by saying that their goal is to restore forests, grasslands, and creeks.
They said that they are working with all relevant environmental agencies.
Copperhill Industries on their website says however that they have suspended its composting permit application and that all future biosolid shipments are suspended.
That Polk County Commissioner we talked to said they will be addressing this with the public at some point soon.