MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — The general manager of the landfill that takes most of Middle Tennessee’s trash filed two motions to dismiss the City of Murfreesboro’s federal suit against it.
In the lawsuit, the City of Murfreesboro accuses Middle Point Landfill of being a source of air and water pollution resulting in more than 2,000 complaints from residents in less than a year.
However, Middle Point General Manager Mike Classen said that lawsuit doesn’t have merit.
“If the city continues to lob baseless accusations at us, we will continue to fight those in whatever court necessary,” Classen said.
Regarding the claim that Middle Point facilities are discharging toxic chemicals known as PFAS into the East Fork Stones River, Classen said the city itself is responsible.
“We have evidence that the City of Murfreesboro in their wastewater treatment sludge, that comes from their treatment process, has high concentrations of this PFAS containment, and they are disposing of that for free in the Middle Point Landfill,” he said, “We have no confirmation or reason to believe that there is a contamination of PFAs associated with Middle Point Landfill in the East Fork of the Stones River.”
Classen also claimed that if there is contamination in the river, it is most likely coming from the now-closed Rutherford County Landfill.
“We have no reason to believe Middle Point Landfill is having any negative impacts whatsoever on the water in the surrounding area,” he said.
Yet, in the lawsuit and during a news conference in August, Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland said that is incorrect.
“According to Republic, they are not polluting the river the evidence says otherwise,” he said of the company that operates Middle Point.
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Classen added the infrared video McFarland released of the gases coming from the landfill is not a sign of a smelly odor going into the air, but rather a sign that the system meant to be destroying harmful chemicals is working.
“What it is actually showing is it is showing these devices working perfectly,” he said.
However, residents who have been frustrated with the smells and fear of water contamination say the back and forth between the city and Middle Point has been going on for a while and still the problems persist.
“The smell is awful, the smell is terrible and it really affects the quality of life,” said Murfreesboro resident Matt Ferry. “A lot of people are concerned not everything is being cleaned out of that water before it’s getting to our faucets.”
The City of Murfreesboro did not respond to requests to comment on this story and instead said it will respond through court filings.