Jefferson Parish president questions need for landfill

Harrahan stench

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Jefferson Parish Council has approved a resolution that selects an engineering firm to look for the best places to put monitors to test the air. This comes after residents complained of a persistent foul odor.

“We are going to do our own air monitoring on our own,” said Mike Yenni. “Today’s council meeting, we have to move forward with an engineering firm to do an air quality study so that we can figure where we need to put air quality devices."

Yenni is questioning why the parish is in the landfill business, and his comments came after a contentious Tuesday night meeting with residents.

“It is a total waste of time, the bureaucrats up there making excuses, doing the dog and pony show and not answering any of the citizens' questions,” said Mickey Fontenot, who attended the public meeting.

Yenni agrees the meeting didn’t go as planned.

“I was upset that a lot of questions were not answered," Yenni said. "I tried to be direct with the answers that were posed to me, the ones that I could answer. I wish we would have had more people there to answer questions for those specific needs.”

Parish Environmental Affairs Director Mike Lockwood said they have installed seven pumps that will addresses leachate. Lockwood said the pumps will allow them to fully remove water from the landfill.

“By doing that, increase the capture of landfill gases and effectively remove and dispose of them,” Lockwood said.

Yenni is now questioning why the parish is still dealing with landfills at all.

“It still has life left in it, and maybe if it was properly run those things could happen,” he said.

He said there is no way of completely shutting down the landfill.

“Even after you close a landfill, you have to have what’s called a closure fund, and we have a large closure fund,” said Yenni.

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