Burnet County ban on commercial landfills to protect water, resources

STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY

BURNET — Burnet County commissioners recently approved an order prohibiting commercial landfill operations in unincorporated parts of the county to protect water and ground resources.

The commissioners court approved the measure Jan. 9 to protect residents against potential pollutants due to “the permeability of the rocks.”

“We really don’t have areas that are conducive to landfills. Burnet County has granite hills, a lot of rock, a lot of streams, creeks, waterways,” said Herb Darling, director of Burnet County Development Services, who drafted the rule using existing wording from other unincorporated jurisdictions.

“You really can’t seal up the ground (to prevent contaminant permeation). You couldn’t safely put one in,” he said. “We’re trying to protect our groundwater and surface runoff.”

The new rule is considered a “proactive measure.”

“This is about having a control mechanism in place,” Burnet County Judge James Oakley said.

The county’s sole landfill on RR 963, just outside Burnet, was closed several years ago. The site currently operates as a “transfer station,” packing and shipping municipal waste to a landfill just outside Hutto in Williamson County.

connie@thepicayune.com

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