Blue Ridge Landfill Settlement: Shadow Creek Ranch’s New Race Against Waste

Shadow Creek Ranch residents worried that the Blue Ridge Landfill just across FM 521 would turn into a 170-ft.-tall mountain of smelly garbage can breathe deeply again, now that the City of Pearland has reached a settlement agreement with the landfill’s operator, Republic Services (formerly Allied Waste).

Among the most important changes: the landfill will be limited to its current height of 60 ft. for 12 more years. Will that be enough time for Shadow Creek Ranch’s homebuilders and Las Vegas developers to sell off whatever remaining inventory they own in the master-planned community? After that, the pile of trash will be restricted to hillock status, at 130 ft. tall — “for an additional 8 years.”

Also good for home sales: Garbage trucks will be banned from using Shadow Creek Parkway west of FM 521!

More details of the agreement from City Attorney Darrin Coker, quoted in The Journal of Pearland:


“First, Blue Ridge has agreed to reduce the total amount of Class I waste that it accepts by a full 50 percent. Blue Ridge has agreed to forgo less effective daily methods of covering Class I waste to minimize air emissions–methods acceptable to the TCEQ–and will instead cover all such waste with six inches of soil at the end of every day. Additionally, Blue Ridge will perform quarterly surface air-emission monitoring of landfill areas that contain Class I waste—testing not required by the TCEQ.”

“If Blue Ridge places Class I waste in certain excluded areas, it has agreed to construct a compacted clay liner to contain such waste, with a minimum thickness of 10 feet, or seven feet thicker than required by the TCEQ. Blue Ridge has also agreed to construct ten additional monitoring wells to supplement the 33 new monitoring wells proposed for the landfill expansion to detect any possible migration of leachate,” Coker explained. . . .

Additionally, Blue Ridge has agreed to place grade breaks and landscape screening along the eastern slope of the landfill to minimize the visual impact of the landfill’s height. Regarding the increased traffic, the TCEQ permit contained no restriction on hours of operation, thus allowing Blue Ridge to operate its landfill 24 hours a day, seven days week.

Under the settlement agreement, Blue Ridge has agreed to be closed on Sundays and limit the hours of its operations during the rest of the week, thereby reducing the amount of traffic generated by its operations. Blue Ridge has also agreed to prohibit its waste trucks from using Shadow Creek Parkway, east of FM 521. Truck traffic will not be allowed to use the section of Broadway between SH 288 and FM 521, which is designated as a no-truck route in the City. Blue Ridge will be responsible for paying $1,000.00 in damages to the City, per truck, for each instance one of its trucks travels on a prohibited route.

Photo of Shadow Creek Ranch: Sean Brady (license)

4 Comment

  • Partial victory – at least for the City. Not sure it will make much difference for anyone living there. The restrictions only last for 20 years. I imagine that Republic has looked at processing volumes and determined it will take them 12 years to get up to 60 feet and then 8 to get to 130.

  • Oh, boo hoo. If you look at Historic Aerials, the landfill was there before SCR. Compare 2002 with 2004.

    (The preview doesn’t look right, so that URL is just in case.)

  • “Oh, boo hoo.”

    Translation: It’s not in my backyard, who cares?

  • Translation: If you live in SCR, you bought a house that was built in a new development that was created next to a pre-existing landfill. After you move in is a little late to be complaining about it.