Dangerous consequences for Benton Co. residents after landfill shuts down

CAMDEN, Tenn. — A community demands answers after they were dumped by their controversial landfill.

“Nobody knows the truth in the whole situation,”  one community member said.

Environmental Waste Solutions is a special environmental waste site that neighbors have complained about for years from its strong odors to a dust-like substance covering their cars.

“We have been told by the landfill that they plan to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. We were told it would happen today and that’s why we scheduled the meeting tonight but it turned out that did not happen,” Department of Environment and Conservation Director Patrick Flood said.

Though happy with its closing, neighbors said new issues with serious consequences have arisen.

“The landfill gas collection system which collects the gas and treats it for ammonia and the other is a leachate system. Leachate is the fluid that percolates through the landfill and collects in the bottom of the landfill,” Flood said.

Some fear this could get dangerously close to Camden’s main water supply.

“We are pulling a plan together and inventorying our resources to find out how we can take care of these systems and see how we can keep these systems running,” Flood said.

Former EWS workers said there are currently two trucks filled with ammonia on the property posing risks of leaks or explosions.

“I’ve been employed by them for about a year and a half,” Jeffrey Newell said.

Newell said he lost his job last Thursday.

“The only thing they did say is ‘here is your paycheck, we’re locking the doors, you’re through’,”  Newell said.

He also said simply walking away is not safe for anyone.

“Keeping everything maintained is something that is going to have to continuously be done on a daily basis not just lock the gates and forget it,”  Newell said.

Flood said Monday was the first he had heard of the trucks filled with the substance just sitting on the property.

Neighbors are looking to take this matter to the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office in hopes of immediate action.