Transfer station topic of upcoming hearing

County Councilman John Campisi and opponents of a solid-waste transfer station proposed in Oakville are urging residents to attend a public hearing scheduled next week by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

The public hearing will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. Monday, July 14, in the Oakville Senior High School gymnasium, 5557 Milburn Road.

An open house scheduled from 6 to 7 p.m. will give residents the opportunity to speak with Department of Natural Resources staff and representatives of Fred Weber Inc., which is proposing to operate the solid-waste transfer station.

F.W. Disposal, a subsidiary of Fred Weber Inc., has submitted application to the St. Louis County Department of Health and to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to operate the solid-waste transfer station on a 4.4-acre site comprised of three parcels at 664 Old Baumgartner Road, 5219 Baumgartner Road and 5211 Baumgartner Road.

The proposed transfer station would be used to receive non-hazardous municipal waste, household waste, commercial, agricultural, governmental and industrial waste, according to a Department of Natural Resources news release.

The wastes then would then be transferred from collection trucks to larger carriers and hauled to a permitted solid waste disposal facility. The facility also would accept recyclable materials, according to the release.

More than 1,500 residents voiced their opposition to the proposal during a June 19 public hearing sponsored by the county Department of Health at Oakville Senior High School and shouted down the lone speaker — attorney Albert Michenfelder — who was representing of F.W. Disposal.

At the hearing, Michenfelder contended that approval of the transfer station should eliminate the need for a south county landfill in the future.

But residents opposed to the proposal say the solid-waste transfer station would be too close to residential properties and would increase traffic, decrease property values and create a noxious odor.

Campisi told the Call that he hopes to have at least 1,500 residents attend Monday’s hearing — if not more.

“What I’m trying to do is get as many people as we had on June 19th or more to show the Department of Natural Resources that the community is still concerned about this waste-transfer station going in, that they’re still concerned about the health issues, that they’re still concerned about the creek that’s behind the homes that all the trash will get washed into,” the councilman said.

Another concern of nearby residents is the diesel fumes that would be emitted by trucks traveling to and from the solid-waste transfer station.

“… You’ve got a lot of trucks that will be idle and therefore you’ve got a lot diesel (fumes) sitting there, hovering over that valley that’s right in there and that’s a concern, too. The diesel gas is just a stench that nobody wants to mess with,” Campisi said.

Fred Weber’s proposal comes six months after the company received overwhelming community opposition to a request to locate a solid-waste transfer station in Oakville, not far from the site of the current application.

That proposal sought to locate a solid-waste transfer station on a 27.7-acre site on the south side of Baumgartner Road and the east side of the Burlington Northern Railroad right of way.

A public hearing conducted on that request by the county Planning Commission last November drew hundreds of residents who were opposed to the proposal.

But proponents of the previous proposal, including a consultant hired by Fred Weber, contended the facility would fill a need that nobody wants to discuss. That consultant, Derrick Standley of the Genesis Group, also is representing Fred Weber in its latest proposal.

Campisi said he is spreading the word about Monday’s hearing to remind people to attend.

“Actually, I have put the word out there and I’m going to put another mass e-mail out this week on Wednesday to remind everybody to be there on Monday,” he said, noting that he has cleared his calendar to attend Monday’s hearing.

“I am going to be there. There’s no way I’m missing this,” the county councilman emphasized.

Shortly after the June 19 public hearing, County Executive George R. “Buzz” Westfall announced his opposition to the proposed solid-waste transfer station.

Campisi said he appreciates Westfall’s opposition to the proposal.

“It’s important for the county executive to come out with me and oppose this waste-transfer station,” he said.

Though the county executive’s opposition to the proposal is important, Campisi said he will continue fighting the solid-waste transfer station until it’s a dead issue.

“Until I see the writing on paper saying that this is dead, I’m not going to stop fighting this issue,” he said.