Neighbors say Del Valle composting facility stinks
Don Legacy, president of JV Dirt and Loam, begs to differ with residents on the nature of his operation. "This is a compost facility, not a dump. All we're doing is recycling and composting, which is an environmentally positive thing." In the two years since JV's initial TCEQ permit application, Legacy said he's tried to assure residents that his operation is not only safe, but includes protections beyond TCEQ regulations. The facility "doesn't have the opportunity to transfer directly into someone's ground water," he said. "The composting takes place 50 feet below the native soil surface within a literally hundreds-of-feet-thick, extremely dense clay dome." Airborne contaminant and odor issues are resolved by a dewatering process performed on all liquid-containing materials that enter the site, he said, which keeps the sensitive liquids from evaporating into the air. "We're not one of those companies that talks big about being concerned about the environment and then turns around and tears it up," Legacy said. He pointed out that he won 2004 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards for developing organic material and using it to control erosion.
But ETCCC members aren't impressed and plan to join other neighborhood and environmental groups on May 23 for a State Capitol rally opposing the TCEQ's permitting of facilities like this in their area. Reyes said the group has received support from Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos and is hoping to bring their local state Rep. Dawnna Dukes aboard as well. "We're drawing a line in the sand," Reyes said. "We're tired of being the dumping ground for Travis County."