Hendry waste landfill application rescinded

Immokalee residents may breathe a sigh of relief now that A. Duda & Sons has rescinded its application to construct a 300’ high Class I Waste Landflll in Hendry County that would accommodate regional waste from outside the area.

With the only access to the proposed landfill from SR 29, residents in Immokalee were very concerned about the large amounts of heavy vehicles that would necessarily be routed through that town. The plan would add 528 daily trips to SR 29, most of which would be through Immokalee.

The proposed 1,190-acre landfill was to be located in Hendry County three miles west of SR 29, within an area known as the Rodina Sector Plan. Duda had not mentioned a landfill in its plans for that community. The proposed site for the landfill is designated as Long Term Agriculture and is surrounded by producing citrus groves.

The facility could also include a leachate facility, scale house, administrative office, vehicle maintenance facility and gas facilities.

In Hendry County, the Southwest Hendry County Sector Plan is adjacent to the Rodina Sector Plan and included open space connections to the Long Term Agriculture area in Rodina to accommodate wildlife use.

Hendry County hopes to promote economic diversity in the entire southwest area, bounded by SR 29 and Lee County,which includes the West Hendry Planning Overlay, South LaBelle Village (in the City of LaBelle), Rodina Sector Plan and Southwest Hendry County Sector Plan.

Documents from the Hendry County Planning and Zoning Department from last summer’s discussions show concerns about the landfill that have come from various sources.

Such a huge facility elicited many objections from surrounding property owners because of expected impacts to agricultural interests, including the expected influx of birds to a landfill obstructing the ability to control greening/HLB control by aerial applications.

Hendry County contracts with Lee County regarding landfill operations, prompting questions from Lee County about that long-standing agreement.

Environmental concerns feared such a large landfill would deter remaining panthers from moving throughout the inland portions of Southwest Florida including areas intended to allow their passage through Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW) to Okalaoacoochee Slough State Forest in Hendry County.

The application was withdrawn by Duda & Sons without explanation.

Patty Brant, Publisher of the Immokalee Bulletin can be reached at pbrant@newszap.com

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