- Associated Press - Friday, August 8, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - State environmental regulators have ordered Harrelson Materials Management Inc. to extinguish fires at its Shreveport landfill and ultimately close the facility.

Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Peggy Hatch signed the order Thursday and approved a fire mitigation plan that focuses on extinguishing fires that have plagued the area for years.

DEQ estimates the fire mitigation plan should be completed in about six months.

Closure may take several months to complete.

Under DEQ’s plan, the landfill will be disassembled, the subterranean fires extinguished and the waste returned to the landfill and covered with soil in compliance with state regulations.

HMM holds a permit that expires Oct. 23. The company had applied to renew its permit but withdrew its request July 18, saying continuing present operations is “no longer a viable option.”

The landfill has been the subject of a series of public meetings over the past few months.

“I think this is the best thing to happen for the people of the Martin Luther King area and the city of Shreveport. They will not have to suffer any more all the smoke and hassle that this landfill has given them these last 20 years,” said Sen. Greg Tarver, who represents the area and organized several of the public meetings.

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