DNR denies transfer station
By ROBERT CHALUPNY
County Councilman John Campisi, R-south county, is elated by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' decision to reject a permit request by Fred Weber Inc. to construct a trash-transfer station in Oakville.
But Campisi told the Call he intends to proceed with legislation that would amend the county's Waste Management Code regarding trash-transfer stations and other solid-waste processing facilities.
The legislation would amend the county's Waste Management Code by requiring a 1,000-foot buffer between trash-transfer stations and churches, schools, child-carecenters, nursery schools, nursing homes, libraries, health-service facilities, residential homes, restaurants or cemeteries.
The legislation would establish a 1,000-foot buffer zone around churches, schools, homes, parks, child-care centers, nursing homes, nursery, schools and libraries. Because Fred Weber Inc. does not have a permit under review, any new application would be subject to comply with any new legislation.
Fred Weber's permit request to construct a trash-transfer station on Baumgartner Road was terminated by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources last week.
An Aug. 29 letter from the MoDNR to Thomas Dunne Jr. of Fred Weber Inc. stated the company had filed to prove it held title to the proposed site.
"We have reviewed the submitted information and determined that clear evidence was not submitted to show you have a freehold interest in the property. Based on this determination, we have terminated the review of the construction permit application for the proposed F.W. Disposal, LLC South Transfer Station and are returning it,'' the letter stated.
Derrick Standley of the Genesis Solid Waste Group Inc., a representative for Fred Weber Inc., told the Call that the company plans to resubmit its proposal.
"We understand that the application was rejected on a technicality and we are in the process of correcting that mistake,'' Standley told the Call Friday.
Campisi said he would move for adoption of his legislation Tuesday night — after the Call went to press.
The legislation would prohibit any waste-transfer site or waste-processing facility at the proposed Baumgartner site in Oakville, the councilman said.
"This is a bill for all of St. Louis County, not just my district,'' Campisi said, noting his legislation would protect all unincorporated areas of St. Louis County.
In addition, a six-month moratorium on waste-transfer stations, which was requested by County Executive George R. "Buzz'' Westfall, also on the agenda for final passage at the council's meeting this week.
The moratorium would prohibit any permits for waste-transfer stations or waste-processing facilities from being issued during a six-month period which would begin upon final passage of the moratorium.
Tom Diehl of Oakville, leader of the opposition to Fred Weber's Oakville proposal, told the Call late Friday afternoon that he was excited about the latest developments.
"I think it was a great move by the DNR. We need to finish the job and pass Campisi's ordinance so that we don't have transfer station's in ever body's back yard," Diehl said.
The legislation sponsored by Campisi and the moratorium were both inspired by the recent uprising of citizens in Oakville that were opposed to a waste-transfer station on Baumgartner road.
At a public hearing in June on Fred Weber's application more than 1,000 Oakville residents came to the Oakville Senior High School Gymnasium to express their concerns.
During a public hearing conducted last week by the County Council's Committee of the Whole on Campisi's legislation, Standley spoke to the crowd of nearly 200 explaining Fred Weber's position.
"The reason the Fred Weber Facilities are sized for low tonnages is that it is the Weber philosophy that transfer stations should be sized to handle specific areas of the county. So that no one area with more than its fair share," Standley said.
"I realize that some of my colleagues in the industry have talked a lot about the economy... Fred Weber, the Freed Weber organization has spent a lot of time traveling around the United States looking at these facilities.
"It would have been easier for them to put in a two or three or four thousand ton a day facility. They said that was wrong. They chose to put in smaller facilities so that they wouldn't purse the community.
"Fred Weber concluded that these facilities when operated in proper fashion at less than a 1,000 tons per day they relatively control odor... Further consider the fact that hundreds of these facilities do operate across the nation without any problems at all. Residents around the other facilities are not reporting to have problems.
"An issue which has been brought up several times is property values. None of the other homes or businesses located around similar facilities in St. Louis county have reported loss values as a result of these facilities. It is not reasonable to assume that either Valley Park or Oakville hosting smaller or more modern facilities will experience any loss in values," Standley concluded.
His presentation was received by the audience with whisper and laughter. Nearly 30 people spoke out against the transfer station and in favor of the bill.