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Shotwell Residents Win Major Landfill Battle

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SHOTWELL — Some Wake County neighbors fought a major landfill and won Monday night.

The Shotwell landfill is in southeastern Wake County not far from the Johnston County line, but people who live there say construction waste on that property could put thousands in danger. Commissioners agreed.

People there were mad a year and a half ago when commissioners approved a yard waste landfill in their neighborhood. Now, its owner also wants to accept construction debris.

However, he will not be able to, at least for now, after some emotional pleas from Shotwell residents.

Residents had harsh words for Frank Lovick. He wants to accept construction debris at his Shotwell stump dump. They fear that some waste will have harmful compounds that could pollute their well water.

"Particularly from treated wood, including things like arsenic, lead and cadmium," said one resident.

The landfill owner's attorney said under state law it still could not accept waste that could contaminate ground water. The landfill engineer added the county knew part of the property might become a construction waste dump.

"It's never anybody's intent to hoo-doo anybody or anything like that," said John Tucker, landfill engineer.

Commissioners voted the proposal down unanimously.

"I think that while there may not be any contamination at this point that there would be future contamination," said Commissioner Linda Coleman.

Landfill opponents were thrilled.

"Certainly a unanimous vote is hard to come by on any issue, so that's how much we were in the right," said Bob Williamson, landfill opponent.

The landfill owner and his wife had little to say, but the landfill owner's attorney gave a hint of what may be next.

"We'll take it up. It's a good possibility (to appeal). We could file a suit in Wake County court I suppose," said attorney Robert Hornik.

The landfill owner's attorney insists commissioners could not deny this request because the board of adjustment already gave it the thumbs up by a 4 to 1 margin.

However, the commissioners did not appear too concerned about that.