The Sevier County Commission has outlined nine reasons why it turned down a zoning change request by the Environmental Safety and Health Corp., action that closed the door on a proposed asbestos waste-disposal site.
Strong objection from county residents, bringing asbestos waste from other areas, the lack of services to and at the site and potential water contamination were among the principal reasons for denying the request. The corporation had requested a zoning change from agriculture to industrial.Commissioners said more than 700 county residents opposed the project while fewer than 10 indicated support for it.
In stating their opposition to processing material from outside the Sevier County area, commissioners said such a procedure "would detrimentally affect property values in the area."
Commissioners said the proposed site would be inadequate in considering a projected 30,000 tons of waste per year and that "water, power, waste disposal and communication services are lacking."
The commission also feared adverse effects to water through contamination and spreading of waste materials because of winds. "The flow of ground water from the proposed site is channeled toward a number of communities" and "the prevailing winds travel directly over established municipalities," it was stated.
In additional reasoning to substantiate refusal of the request, commissioners said there is not a need for the site in the county, noting, "The Sevier School District is presently maintaining asbestos in place while studying the matter."
It was also stated that there are negative conditions for an asbestos disposal site in the Sevier County that may not exist in other areas of the state where there would be less negative effects.