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Group traveling across counties to rally residents against proposed landfill

Limestone County
Posted at 10:28 PM, Aug 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-08 09:45:53-04

AXTELL, TX — Next week, the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) comes to Axtell to hear public input on Waco's proposed new landfill near the town.

The proposed landfill would cross into McLennan, Hill and Limestone County lines. Lacy Hollingsworth and her group, Saving Axtell Families and the Environment (SAFE), are hitting the road to make sure people in every county affected get a say.

"Really the only part of the property that's in McLennan County is some road frontage. It's a very, very small portion, so McLennan County does not really have a big dog in the fight there," Hollingsworth explained.

But she wants everyone in the region to attend the August 15th community meeting in Axtell with the TCEQ.

Hollingsworth believes everyone affected by the landfill should have a say before state environmental leaders, so she traveled to the two other counties involved to remind those living there that they too have a dog in this hunt.

SAFE's strategy has apparently worked, to an extent. Both Hill and Limestone County governments have passed resolutions against the landfill.

"I think it's McLennan County and Limestone County that's involved in this, and I think everybody, if they're against the landfill, they need to step up and say what they have against it," said Limestone County Commissioner John McCarver.

He believes, with enough comment, Texas Environmental regulators will give the project a much closer second-look. ”I think they will if they see there's a lot of people against it. Surely they'll reconsider," said McCarver.

But Waco has done its homework. Public works leaders have described to Central Texas News a landfill that's "state of the art", and one that has almost no chance of causing any environmental damage.

But people living nearby call that not enough.

"The farmers and ranchers who own the surrounding properties are concerned about their cattle. They're concerned, and you know, that's their livelihood. That's how they support their families. They're worried about their crops," said Hollingsworth.

She says no matter how things turn out, she and her neighbors believe they have to fight the good fight to keep what they have. Hollingsworth calls it the American way.

The TCEQ meeting gets underway at Axtell High School August 15 at 7 p.m. Hollingsworth wants people to sign up and speak during the second and third segments of the meeting- the ones she says get recorded.