The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is requiring Middle Point Landfill to obtain a permit dealing with water pollution to continue blasting at the site.
The operator, Republic Services, contends it is following with the law, while state officials say company officials only thought they had the proper permit.
State officials sent a letter this week to Republic Services notifying the company it must get a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Services permit for mining activity. The action came after residents complained during a public meeting at Walter Hill School about blasting the operator has done across County Landfill Road on the former Matthews property.
"If Middle Point Landfill intends to remove and process limestone on site, an individual NPDES permit will be required," the letter states, in addition to a state permit the operator holds covering storm-water discharges from solid waste disposal.
Limestone mining and processing is not covered by its existing permit, according to the TDEC letter. Middle Point operators bought the Matthews property for about $12 million about 10 years ago to use for cover dirt and other landfill needs.
TDEC does not regulate blasting, which doesn't necessarily constitute mining, and doesn't hold the authority to tell Republic Services it can't blast on the property, officials said.
Nevertheless, department representatives visited the landfill March 15 and determined limestone had been removed and processed by crushing and screening, though no processing was being done during the site check. The investigation noted no water quality "issues" and found runoff had been contained properly in a limestone pit.
See the entire story by Sam Stockard in the Murfreesboro Post.