BURNT does a lot of work at the General Assembly which is not related to specific legislation. Over the years,we have helped educate the legislature on problems of solid waste and landfills. For this hearing of the Joint Government Operations Rule Committee we tried to link the refusal of the State Air Quality Board and Air Quality Department to consider odors. Of course, this is quite strange behavior for an Air Quality Board–how can a State Air Quality Board ignore odors? However, we found the General Assembly was not interested in this point. It may be considered unfriendly to business.
BURNT has worked two odor cases in Nashville (the four largest cities have identical enabling laws to the State which are interpreted to allow them to regulate air quality). In both cases involving odors, businesses thrived after the offending plant was closed or regulated. Of course, farms are a germane point against regulation.
Here are examples of citizen testimony about Middle Point landfill in Murfreesboro on August 22 2013:
Ms C.W. –“…the smell [Murfreesboro landfill] is really bad on some days…[the people who live in] Walter Hill should not have to smell the odors that are emitted ” Pre-Hearing Comment #1, pg. 1 of 35 **
Mr. J. R. —“I live about 1 ½ miles from the landfill as the crow flies. I have lived in my house for 28 years. For the first 18 years it was not an issue. In the last 10 years it has been a major issue. Being able to go out and sit on my porch in the back and have to put up with this smell and all the poor air quality that’s coming from the landfill”. Hearing Comment #9, pg. 18-19 **
Mr. S. A. “Okay, I was here before they were, and they have no right to stink me out of my home, but they are, they are, and they do a lof of other people, too. So, if you want to talk about air quality, there you go, there you have something to work on. Thank you “ Comment #10, pg. 19 of 35 **
**Testimony 22 August 2013 about Middle Point Landfill in Murfreesboro