Van Buren Township meeting on landfill turns heated

Disposal of waste from fracking, drilling operations has residents upset

VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP, Mich. - There has been a lot of heated debate lately over fracking and drilling operations cropping up in metro Detroit. The disposal of waste from those operations had some residents in Van Buren Township fired up Tuesday evening.

Residents were demanding answers as to what's going on at the Wayne Disposal landfill.

"Our environmental committee that we have delegated in the township should have been looking into this," said concerned resident John Dalaney.

"How do you monitor what you don't know is there? This has to get banned," said another resident.

Officials from Michigan Department of Environmental Quality gave a presentation. Here's the key problem: the landfill owners filed an application with the state, asking for permission to accept and store more radioactive waste -- ten fold to be exact, increasing the amount from 50 to 500.

This comes as Gov. Rick Snyder just put the brakes on a Pennsylvania fracking company's plan ship up to 36 tons of low activity radioactive fracking sludge to Wayne Disposal.

Some residents are now fighting for a permanent no.

"We have over 20 percent of the fresh water in the world. I mean, it seems like a no-brainer. Why would we risk this?" said one resident.

"I'm confident that the federal government is applying the correct rules to make this stuff safe for community," said Van Buren Township Supervisor Linda Combs.

Residents were also upset they had to write down their questions on a card, which were then read by a supervisor who asked those questions. Some residents were livid as they wanted rebuttals or follow-up questions. The supervisor said the meeting was for information only and was not a hearing.

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