Developers of a proposed asbestos landfill are seeking a change in zoning regulations from the Sevier County Commission - something area residents are fighting.

Dan Perry, representative of the Great Basin Environmental Safety Corp., Delta, which plans to develop the disposal site, met with members of the county's planning and zoning commission asking for a zoning change. The 200 acres, seven miles south of Monroe, in Poverty Flat, on which the waste site will be located is zoned agricultural. Perry said it needs to be changed to industrial.Great Basin has already receive necessary permits from the state and Central Utah health departments for the landfill.

Opponents haven't given up their fight against the proposal, realizing that the site can't be developed unless there is a zoning change. They paraded a sign at the meeting which stated "Not in Our Back Yards." At a previous meeting in Monroe, where corporation officials outlined their plans, about 400 protesters were in attendance. Zoning commission members said they will listen to both proponents and opponents before making a recommendation to the county commission for a final decision on the zoning request.

The ground water table beneath the proposed site has been verified at 150 feet by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service and state engineers. They said the water would not be affected by development of an asbestos landfill.

Corporation officials say area residents have little to fear from the waste disposal operation. They claim asbestos won't be released into the atmosphere. It will be buried in trenches at a depth of 20 feet beneath the surface in heavy plastic bags containing water.

Trenches will be lined with a plastic sealant and covered with two to three feet of soil, Perry said. After wastes are buried and the trenches covered to surface levels, the area will be reseeded.

Even with those precautions, there will be air sampling at the site. Members of the zoning commission were invited to participate in the sampling if and when they desire to do so.

Officials of the firm have pledged there will be no violations of state or local environmental and health regulations. Requirements are more stringent for asbestos disposal than for wastes at standard landfills, and the corporation promises to conduct tests and practices that will exceed those requirements.

County Attorney Don Brown invited the public to submit written questions and concerns to that office. The proposal will be reviewed again at a meeting Jan. 8, at 8 p.m. in the county courthouse in Richfield.