We are an organized group that is working to stop the approval of permit 1599B, which seeks to expand the Greenhouse Road Landfill, and to eventually close the landfill because of the harmful effects it is having on our community.
We ask the community to join our movement and help to build the case to stop Greenhouse Road Landfill.
Sign the Petition
In the Media
KATY (Covering Katy News) – The Greenhouse Road Landfill was, originally developed when Katy was a much more rural area with fewer homes. Now, owners of the facility are applying to expand their operations located at Greenhouse and Clay Roads in unincorporated Harris County.
Landfill operators are asking environmental regulators for permission to grow their operation by 30 acres. Neighbors say “expanding the landfill further into our community is not acceptable.”
The Greenhouse Road Landfill is also asking to be allowed to operate for another 30 years, but residents point out that when the landfill was given its original permit there weren’t as many homes in the area. They say it’s been an eyesore, a safety issue and it smells.
The landfill owner is Garry Weiss, president of G.O. Weiss Inc. The company’s application for expansion says the height of the landfill would increase nearly 20 feet when it’s full. Weiss applied to the Texas Commissioner on Environmental Quality to expand its operations in November of 2016. The total expansion would be 31 acres. One acre would be used as a buffer between the landfill and surrounding properties.
The landfill is near Katy schools. Schmaltz Elementary School and Cardiff Junior High School are nearby. Wellspring Children’s Academy and Mayde Creek North Hike Trail are all close to the Greenhouse road dumpsite, as is the Special Pals animal shelter.
“This area of west Houston used to be more rural when the landfill was built in the early 1980’s, but now it is a well developed residential area,” says a petition being circulated online by residents. “We want to clean up our area and keep it safe for our families. Expanding the landfill further into our community is not acceptable,” it also says.
Weiss says his operation has been a good neighbor.
“Over the life of the landfill we have worked with the county and developments to be a good neighbor,” Weiss told KHOU TV. He also reportedly noted that his operation will withstand a 100-year flood event.
The debate has gotten the attention of Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner Steve Radack. Radack reportedly share’s the resident’s concerns.
Harris County intends to join the expansion discussion. Steve Radack, the commissioner for Harris County Precinct 3, said that he stands with his constituents in opposing the expansion and has asked the county attorney’s office to request a contested hearing through the TCEQ.
With Radack comes the involvement of the county engineer, the county flood control district, and others.
It’s a debate that won’t be ending anytime soon.
See neighborhood map below:
KATY, Texas – Several neighborhoods in Katy are banding together to fight the expansion of a landfill in the area.
The owners of the Greenhouse Road Landfill filed an expansion application with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in 2016. It includes plans to expand the boundary of the landfill on Greenhouse Road by more than 31 acres. The elevation would also increase by over 19 feet.
Residents have spent months fighting the plans, because they claim the dump ground is already decreasing property values due to its smell, runoff, and noise.
Gary Brown, a director with the Rolling Green HOA, has been leading the opposition effort. He says he can no longer entertain in his backyard because of the odor.
“How would a guest feel if they come in my backyard and they smell that rotten egg smell? You lose your appetite,” he said. “My goals are to stop the expansion, and have [the owner] operate within the confines of his word and the regulations.”
Harris County Pollution Control Services says they have received 57 complaints against the facility in 2017. All but two complaints were in regards to the odor.
Brown started an online petition against the expansion, which has gotten more than 500 signatures.
“Somebody has got to say enough is enough. Enough is enough. We’re worried about our children,” Gloria Evans, a retiree in another nearby subdivision.
Greg Weiss, owner of the Greenhouse Road Landfill, addressed residents’ concerns in an email to KHOU 11 News.
“The Greenhouse Road Landfill was originally permit in the mid 1980’s and began accepting waste in the mid 1990’s. For over 20 years this site has provided new development and disaster recovery efforts in the area a place to dispose of C&D waste properly and efficiently. Over the life of the landfill we have worked with the county and developments, to be a good neighbor. This includes our expansion granted in 2000’s as well as the current effort,” he wrote.
In response to concerns about odors, he said, “Construction and Demolition Landfills generally do not generate significant odors, but we are taking the concerns about odors seriously. In September of 2017 the TCEQ issued a Temporary Authorization to the Greenhouse Road Landfill to implement an odor control system. We have been evaluating this system and making modifications to improve its effectiveness. Based on these findings we will file a request with the TCEQ to make the system a part of the current Landfill permit.”
Weiss also responded to drainage concerns at the landfill.
“Currently the landfill’s detention system is sized to accommodate the 25 and 100-year storm event and the landfill’s perimeter drainage system is sized to accommodate the 25-year event. With the approval of the landfill expansion, both the detention system and perimeter drainage system will accommodate both the 25-year and 100-year flood events.”
The TCEQ says the landfill expansion application is currently undergoing technical review.
Once a decision is made, adjacent neighbors will be notified and the preliminary decision will be published in a local newspaper. The public will then have 30 days to make comments or request a public meeting for the proposed facility.
Neighbors and businesses as well as state and county officials are opposing the attempted expansion of a Katy-area landfill due to environmental, safety and compliance concerns.
The owner of the Greenhouse Road Landfill at 3510 Greenhouse Road, Katy, applied for a permit amendment in November 2016 through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to expand an additional 31 acres. One acre would be used as a buffer between the landfill and surrounding properties and the height of the landfill would increase nearly 20 feet, according to the permit application filed with TCEQ.
The application states these changes would extend the life of the landfill from an estimated 13 to 36 years, and increase its overall capacity by more than 9 million cubic yards.
Nearby residents object to the expansion—calling it an eyesore—and cited odors and compliance issues.
“You’re talking about a six-story ‘building’ back here—behind my fence—that I’m going to look at,” said Gary Brown, director of Rolling Green Homeowners Association.
Brown believes that the expansion would violate a settlement from 2000. The agreement was a negotiated settlement between Rolling Green, Harris County and the landfill to mitigate the landfill’s impact on the area.
Brown’s backyard borders the landfill and he has rallied the neighborhood against the expansion. Neighbors are concerned about their property values declining, but commercial owners are also worried.
Elizabeth Trick, executive director of Special Pals, an animal shelter neighboring the landfill, said the expansion’s larger drainage ponds may attract pests, increasing health risks for on-site animals.
Trick said landfill Manager Mike Parker assured her the landfill would take safety measures, and drainage improvements would help mitigate the risk of flooding.
“We’re concerned that we don’t know all of the information, or that maybe there’s not enough willingness to share info, and I guess ultimately if there’s an issue with contaminating our water source,” Trick said.
Landfill owner Garry Weiss, president of G.O. Weiss Inc., said the company has filed an amendment to its existing permit, and the proposed expansion does not violate the 2000 settlement between the landfill, county and Rolling Green subdivision.
“This is a separate permitting process—a separate amendment,” Weiss said. “We worked with the county in the past and the neighborhoods, and we’re willing to do that again.”
County stepping in
Latrice Babin, deputy director at Harris County Pollution Control Services, said via email the department has received an increase in odor complaints about the facility since Tropical Storm Harvey, but such an increase related to landfills is common after flooding. Complainants noted a rotten egg smell from the property.
HCPCS said it received 11 complaints, conducted 40 inspections and issued two permit violations for the landfill since January 2000. The first violation citation was issued in May 2005 for water runoff causing sediment buildup. The second was issued in June for litter and unrepaired erosion gullies.
The June inspection also found violations of the 2000 settlement agreement. Residents had also complained about water from the landfill flowing into their yards.
The county recorded nuisance conditions created by strong gas odors and dust created by landfill traffic.
Weiss said the concerns in the two citations, as well as in a letter from the county attorney earlier this year, had been addressed or were inaccurate. He said he has dealt with drainage, erosion, debris and odor issues but some of the agreement’s measures have not been implemented because that point in development has not been reached.
TCEQ reported the agency has issued no violations against the landfill. State Rep. Dwayne Bohac, R-Houston, opposes the expansion, saying in a letter to TCEQ the landfill conflicts with surrounding parks, subdivisions and the West Houston Airport.
Weiss disagreed, saying he feels the site and his company support the community by collecting trash and debris.
Harris County intends to join the expansion discussion. Steve Radack, commissioner for Harris County Precinct 3, said that he stands with his constituents in opposing the expansion and has asked the county attorney’s office to request a contested hearing through the TCEQ.
“We will get the involvement of the county engineer, the Harris County Flood Control District and any other officials that need to be involved.” Radack said.
Full Article: https://communityimpact.com/houston/katy/editors-pick/2017/12/19/proposed-greenhouse-road-landfill-expansion-in-katy-causes-concern/