Waste Management pulls permit on proposed deep water well

MARIANNA, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Jackson County locals and officials are well on their way to solving a wastewater problem coming from Springhill Landfill in Campbellton

Waste Management withdrew its permit for a deep well injection system at Tuesday's Jackson County Board of County Commissioners meeting. The permit was applied for in 2017. (WJHG/WECP)

Tuesday Waste Management officials told Jackson County leaders they were pulling a deep water well permit they applied for in 2017.

They say the well was a possible solution to deal with leachate or what some call "garbage juice" coming from the Springhill Landfill, but locals feared for what might happen to their water.

Ronstance Pittman, the immediate past president for the Jackson County NAACP said, "When the issue was first brought to the NAACP, people were concerned about the water being affected, the aquifer being affected; the leachate basically going down into the water and not being contained in the well itself."

Now they say they're breathing easy as an alternative plan is in the works.

Pittman said, "We're very pleased, relieved, and happy for the citizens of Jackson County that we were able to step up and protect our water here."

The alternative plan is an evaporator system that will burn off the leachate. Jackson County officials say waste management looked heavily into the alternatives and listened to local concerns.

Wilanne Daniels, the County Administrator for Jackson County said, "They've held a number of community meetings and have gone through that process to ensure they had an alternative solution in place before pulling the permit."

Many say getting the permit pulled was a group effort involving the community, as well as county, and state leaders.

Jackson County officials say waste management worked to keep Jackson County's best interests in mind.

Daniels said, "It's always easier time work together than to fight your way through an issue. So I'm pleased with the way they have partnered with us and the community."

Officials say Waste Management will build and operate the evaporator system and construction is underway.

The group Safe Water for Walton also released a statement saying, “Safe Water for Walton is grateful that the federal-state Class I deep injection well/drilling permit application — our No. 1 priority issue of focus since 2017 — has now been *withdrawn* from the review process by Waste Management.
We thank every single person who has joined as a member (that includes many elected officials). We applaud each generous event sponsor. We appreciate every single program partner and in-kind supporter. It’s been a long and productive 2 1/2 years.
Since being founded, we “worked” as community volunteers non-stop on this issue, while simultaneously establishing other positive projects and educational programs that the community supported and embraced. We look forward to more, together.
On the deep injection well proposal, we also deeply appreciate substantial legal expertise, legislative assistance, and geological/hydrological research done, near and far. You are heroes, one and all.
We continue our mission to be a fact- and science-based advocate for the 6-county public water supply we all depend on — and our non-profit organization also remains fully committed to serving our #neighborsinthewatershed who are still recovering from Hurricane Michael.”

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