The Scott County Fiscal Court took a step towards getting completely out of the landfill business by voting to amend its Solid Waste Management Plan.

The vote was made during a special meeting Thursday and followed nearly an hour-long executive session. 

Magistrate Rick Hosteler made the motion aided by attorney Rand Marshal to amend the county’s Solid Waste Management Plan to “accept zero capacity waste” once Central Kentucky Landfill’s capacity is reached. This would include all waste, including Scott County’s own, Marshall said.

Now, the county must notify the state Division of Waste Management of the proposed amendment for its approval. The state will then notify the county of the next steps it must take which will likely include a public notice and public hearing.

For over a year, Central Kentucky Landfill officials and others have said the landfill will reach capacity in “two years.”

“We didn’t take this lightly,” said Judge-Executive Joe Pat Covington. “We have looked at all options.”

The amendment is not officially part of the county’s waste management plan until all steps outlined by the state are fulfilled.

The fiscal court’s action is another setback for Central Kentucky Landfill’s plans to expand its footprint. Last month, Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman upheld a Dec. 30, 2019 decision by administrative law judge Virginia Gorley denying the landfill’s application to expand.

Waste Services of the Bluegrass, owners of the landfill located in northern Scott County, has appealed the decision in Franklin Circuit Court.

“Since Waste Services of the Bluegrass filed the application with the cabinet eight years ago, it has followed the guidance and directions of the cabinet and has responded to every request made of it by the cabinet, expanding vast amounts of time and money in the process,” David Royse, am attorney for Waste Services told the Lexington Herald-Leader.

“While we are troubled by this sudden reversal in position by the cabinet, we have filed for judicial review with the Franklin Circuit Court and we look forward to our opportunity to address this matter in court.”

Last year, the Scott County Fiscal Court revised its Solid Waste Plan and considered filing a suit challenging the landfill’s expansion plans but backed off at the request of attorneys for a class action suit presenting county citizens. The fiscal court’s position is the landfill has altered its original plans for expansion and the application no longer complies with the county’s existing solid waste management ordinances.

Controversy has escalated since 2015 when the landfill signed a contract with the Lexington-Urban County government to haul Fayette County trash to Central Kentucky Landfill. Last year, Scott County officials asked Lexington officials not to renew their contract with the landfill, but did so anyway for five additional years in 2019. The contract is for about $3.6 million per year.

Landfill officials have said the existing footprint will run out of space within two years if an expansion is not approved and county officials were aware of the expansion plans when the landfill was purchased from the City of Georgetown in 1999.

Citizens living near the landfill have frequently complained about odors and the number of heavy trucks hauling trash traveling U.S. 25.

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