Douglas County Commissioners on Wednesday approved Westar Energy's plan to create a new landfill at the Lawrence Energy Center, 1250 North 1800 Road.
The landfill, which has an expected life of 26 years, will only be used to hold materials created by the use of coal at the energy center. That includes ash and slurry. The material dumped in the landfill reportedly shouldn't cause any health hazards.
"We don't know the exact life of the landfill, but 26 years is the engineers' opinion," said Chad Luce, a Westar employee.
The proposed landfill would be located northeast of the end of North Iowa Street and on land formerly used by the Callery Chemical Co.
While the request received some opposition from area residents when it initially went before the Lawrence-Douglas Planning Commission, no one spoke directly against the proposal at Wednesday's meeting.
Douglas County resident Everett Shockley, 1215 North 1800 Road, did ask commissioners to make sure to include measures in Westar's request for a conditional use permit for the landfill. He asked it be included that Westar install a dust monitor and take action to prevent dust from spreading along the haul road used on the company's grounds.
Shockley resides across the street from the landfill currently being used by Westar. He said that for several years he has had problems with ash blowing onto his property. A dust monitor was installed in the spring after complaints were filed regarding the problem over the span of several years.
"Some of the responsibility of that situation falls to the county for not following up more aggressively on Mr. Shockley's situation," County Administrator Craig Weinaug said.
Shockley said the problem has now been remedied. The current landfill should be full by 2007.
With the approval of the Douglas County Commission, Westar must now go through a permitting process with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.