POLITICS: SC taxpayers could hold $400 million tab to maintain toxic waste dump

Posted by ANDREW SHAIN on January 19, 2014 

Many buzzards fly around the Pinewood waste site. The closed hazardous-waste landfill, between Summerton and Pinewood, is managed by Kestrel Horizons and regulated by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com Buy Photo

— Protecting a lake and the water supply from leaks at a Sumter County toxic chemical waste dump could become the taxpayers' problems, The State's Sammy Fretwell writes:

The cost of protecting Lake Marion from a toxic chemical leak could top $400 million over the next century as South Carolina wrestles with managing a closed hazardous waste dump in Sumter County, records show.

Since the landfill shut down in 2000, site costs have exceeded revenues each year by $4.6 million on average, forcing dump managers to use another landfill management fund to make up the deficit, according to financial statements released by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

But the fund being used to offset the deficit is virtually depleted – and some state leaders predict the financial burden will ultimately be the public’s.

State Rep. Murrell Smith, R-Sumter, wants to set aside the cash to fix a problem into the 22nd century.

“It is my intention to deal with this deficit,” Smith said. “Obviously our chickens are coming home to roost in the Pinewood dump.”

... Smith last week didn’t have a specific amount that he would seek from the Legislature.

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