Amid the farmland and advertisements for locally grown produce near the intersection of Hwy. 6 and Hwy. 290 in Hempstead, multiple signs from the Stop Hwy. 6 Landfill Coalition have sprouted up in recent months.
Georgia-based Green Group Holdings has plans to build a landfill at the site, which would hold between 35 and 38 million cubic yards of trash that would come from a 45-mile radius, which includes Cy-Fair.
"There is a need in the Houston metro area for landfills, especially on the western side of the city," said Ernest Kaufmann, president of Green Group Holdings.
Members of the Stop Hwy. 6 Landfill Coalition, which formed a year ago, have concerns about several aspects of the proposed project.
"We believe there are a number of issues that would affect our community that are serious and long-term such as traffic and public safety, our source of ground and surface water that we believe could become contaminated, odor, noise and the environment," said Bill Huntsinger, one of the coalition members.
Pintail Landfill will consist of 790 acres—250 of which will hold the waste. The remaining acreage along Hwy. 6 will be developed into an industrial park for manufacturing facilities.
"The rest will be set aside by buffers for community recreational activities or other things the county might have in mind," Kaufmann said. "Eventually we plan to have recycling and other things that will complement the facility."
The issue of depreciating property value is also a concern, since the area on which the landfill will be built is considered one of the premiere intersections in the county, Huntsinger said.
"It has great commercial and residential property potential," he said."
As per the host agreement, Green Group Holdings will offer a property value protection program that covers any homeowners within a mile of the site with 30 acres or less.
"If [homeowners] try to sell their property within 10 years after the landfill opens and they can't get their appraised value, we will make up the difference," Kaufmann said.
Pintail Landfill will accept household and business waste, but no hazardous materials or sewer sludge, Kaufmann said. Regardless, the coalition is still concerned.
"Landfills become bigger and taller, and what you see today on the application is not what you should expect to see at the end of its life," Huntsinger said.
The Houston-Galveston Area Council and the state must approve the project before a permit can be issued. The facility is expected to open by 2014.