Mary Tutwiler

Doerle denied permit for landfill expansion

by Mary Tutwiler

The battle has been waged for 16 years. The fight — initially over locating a construction and demolition debris landfill on the border of St. Martin and Iberia parishes, lately opposing the expansion of Gordon’s Disposal from 14 to 64 acres — spawned enough paper from lawsuits to fill a waste pit, pitted a state senator against his own parish government and district attorney's office, and bound together People Against Waste, a local environmental group, for well over a decade.

Friday, the state’s Department of Environmental Quality issued a denial of the permit for Gordon Doerle to expand his landfill, potentially shutting down the 14-acre site and nearly full pit. The denial was largely based on opposition from the Federal Aviation Administration, which had serious concerns that the landfill was endangering air traffic at the Acadiana Regional Airport. The airport’s runway is less than 500 feet from the facility. Attracting birds is a hazard of landfills; the FAA’s concern was due to the possibility of bird strikes as planes approached or took off from the runway.

Doerle has indicated in the past that if he is denied a permit, he will file suit. He could not be reached for comment Monday morning.