“People shouldn’t live like this”: Residents frustrated about nearby landfill in Pittsylvania County

Southside Virginia News

PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Several residents in Pittsylvania county are concerned that a nearby landfill is hazardous to the environment and their community.

Jerry Martin was born and raised in the town of Ringgold, a resident of the county for 74 years. He says he’s fed up.

Martin lives less than five miles away from a landfill operated by First Piedmont Corporation. Ever since the project began in 1972, Martin has looked out for his community when it came to environmental hazards.

He says it’s gotten worse over the years, with extreme air pollution, excessive noise, and windblown trash. The smell has also been a concerning factor.

“The odor has just been unbearable for people living up and down this road. They promised to fix it five years ago. It has not been done,” said Martin.

Anne Smith agrees. She lives less than two miles away from the landfill.

“The smell is so awful. You cannot go outside your door in the mornings. You get nauseated,” Smith said.

Residents soon formed a group, the Coalition for a Clean Dan River Region, to demand answers concerning the landfill located along Clark’s Mill Road.

On Thursday, Dec. 3, the group met at Evangel Church to attend a virtual meeting with the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and representatives with First Piedmont Corp.

Some leaders admitted to witnessing some of the site’s problems.

“Did notice the odor. So it’s definitely there. It was not that bad that day, but definitely noticeable,” said Briana Bill with VDH.

Others outlined solutions that have already been put into place, like the issue of residue found on nearby roadways.

“We put in a concrete entrance which eliminated the rock being dragged out in the road,” said Jay Craddock with VDOT.

Despite the elaborate discussion, residents were left unsatisfied. Many citing a lack of proper actions; ones that are long overdue.

“We’re very frustrated. Have been frustrated for a long time and they’re not really addressing the issues that we’re concerned with,” Adrienne Sheets, a local resident, said.

The group says they will continue to fight, already planning other alternative steps in hopes for change.

“We won’t quit. We plan to continue,” said Sheets.

During the virtual meeting, the VDH mentioned possibly installing a scrubber control system to fix the odor issue.

WFXR News reached out to First Piedmont Corp and has yet to hear back.

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