Old, new issues raise concerns in Big Creek Road, Cheddar area

0
379

By David Meade

A community meeting held at Cedar Grove Elementary School Tuesday evening provided a lot of information and concerns, some old and some new for residents of the Cheddar community.

Anderson County Council District Seven representative Cindy Wilson and community watchdog Teresa Morgan moderated most of the discusssion. They were accompanied by a variety of County officials who spoke during the two hour meeting.

Topics covered included safety and other issues involving tanker trucks, trash trucks, the landfill, coal ash removal, policing and crimewatch, and a recent leak in the gas pipeline that runs through the area.

Morgan, who chairs the Anderson County EMS (ACEMS) Commission and has been involved in Cheddar community concerns for a number of years, began stating that the purpose of the meeting was the safety of the community and to ensure the community and industry were working together on issues that affect both.

Later in the meeting, Morgan spoke on FIN routing, waste and tank haulers and other concerns.

Councilwoman Cindy Wilson announced several projects that will impact residents of Big Creek Road and surrounding areas. Among them: plans to rebuild and resurface a portion of Big Creek Road and Coal Ash removal from Duke’s Lee Steam plant.

Wilson said work on Big Creek Road, including rebuilding the base and paving from Hwy. 20 to Rector Road, will begin in mid-April. The stretch of roadway has seen heavy truck traffic from local and out of county trash haulers since the county sold the Big Creek Landfill to Allied Waste in 1997 and it became the Anderson Regional Landfill.

Wilson said residents will be asked for input soon from Duke Energy on proposed truck routing involving coal ash removal from lagoons at the Lee Steam plant.

The ash will be removed from the property by truck and transported to a landfill near Homer Georgia.

According to Wilson, current proposed routing will take the trucks along Cannon Bottom road to Hwy. 247.

Officials have stated there will be hundreds of trucks involved during the process.

Wilson also anounced that a new pipeline construction project is also being planned which will affect the area.

Kinder Morgan is proposing construction of a new pipeline to transport gas, diesel and ethanol from Louisana, Mississippi and Belton to markets in North Augusta, Savannah and Jacksonville. The Palmetto Project consists of a new 360 mile pipeline with a design capacity of up to 167,000 barrels per day.

The new pipeline will will connect with the Plantation pipeline at the Belton terminals and run south to Greenwood, North Augusta, then along the Savannah River to Savannah and Jacksonville.

The project will also include the modification and construction of additional pipeline facilities, including storage tanks, pump stations and delivery terminals. Depending on permitting and regulatory approvals, the Palmetto Project has an in service date of July 2017.

According to information presented at the meeting, property owners who may be affected by the project are being contacted and surveys are already being conducted.

Teresa Morgan has been concerned with safety in the community since she became involved in issues with the Anderson Regional Landfill and the FIN process in 2004.

The FIN process involved community, county and landfill representatives to determinr safe truck routes for haulers transporting to the landfill and other issues.

According to Morgan, the trash haulers are supposed to follow three designated routes on main roads from I-85, Hwy. 29 and Hwy. 25 to the facility on Rector Road just off Big Creek Road.

Morgan urged residents attending the meeting to document problems involving trucks and trash by taking photos and getting tag and truck information.

Big Creek Road residents attending the meeting expressed concerns and frustrations with crumbling roadways, speeding trash trucks, trash flying off the trucks and rumbling of trucks when they pass near their homes.

One resident said that her house was experiencing foundation problems and cracks as a result of the impact of trucks passing nearby. Another said there was continuously trash along both sides of the road. “Its been going on for years,” she said.

There was also mention of a lack of fire hydrants along Big Creek Road.

“Big Creek Road is being used more than any road in the county,” one resident said. “And we are not getting the services other parts of the county are.”

A Lewis Drive resident stated that one end of the street had been closed by the railroad and the other end was recently closed due to the gas line leak. He said neither he nor anyone in the neighborhood was told anything about what was going on while the pipeline leak was being repaired.

The repair work raised concerns for others including Anderson County officials, who were not notified of the problem when it occurred in December.

Residents began questioning what was going on and according to Wilson, county officials “became clearly alarmed” when it was determined no one with the county had been alerted to a potential problem.

Morgan said she was concerned that the County HazMat team was not on the scene and that county officials were not aware. She said she was told the County HazMat team would not be notified or dispatched unless a call came through the 911 system.

Wilson said Plantation, Marathon and other companies have the capability in-house to deal with problems and that state and DHEC notifications were made on the leak, but “the issue showed that the notification process (to the county) is a weak link in this process.”

“On the state and national level they did an excellent job on the leak, but they didn’t notify the county,” she said.

Several contact numbers were provided including Plantation Pipeline (Kinder Morgan) 1-800-510-5678; Transco/Williams 1-800-440-8475; Colonial Pipeline 1-800-926-2728; SC Transport Police – 864-241-1022 and Greenville & Western Railroad Emergency number 866-690-4779.

Morgan said “This is the first meeting of meetings. There are so many issues in this one community.”

Also speaking during the meeting were Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper; Deputy Lloyd Robinson, who spoke on community crime watch; Steve Newton on blight abatement and demolition of substandard properties; Steve McDade on the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC)

McDade said the LEPCD program focuses on relationships between the community, County Council and public safety including fire departments and other first responders.

County Council District 3 representative J. Mitchell Cole, members of the Belton Town Council and Williamston Councilman Rockey Burgess were also present.

Original Post Preview –

By David Meade

A community meeting held at Cedar Grove Elementary School Tuesday evening provided a lot of information and concerns, some old and some new for residents of the Cheddar community.

Anderson County Council District Seven representative Cindy Wilson and community watchdog Teresa Morgan moderated most of the discusssion. They were accompanied by a variety of County officials who spoke during the two hour meeting.

Topics covered included safety and other issues involving tanker trucks, trash trucks, the landfill, coal ash removal, policing and crimewatch, and a recent leak in the gas pipeline that runs through the area.

Big Creek Road residents attending the meeting expressed concerns and frustrations with crumbling roadways, speeding trash trucks, trash flying off the trucks and rumbling of trucks when they pass near their homes. There was also mention of a lack of fire hydrants along Big Creek Road.

Also speaking during the meeting were Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper; Deputy Lloyd Robinson, who spoke on community crime watch; Steve Newton on blight abatement and demolition of substandard properties; Steve McDade on the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC).

County Council District 3 representative J. Mitchell Cole, members of the Belton Town Council and Williamston Councilman Rockey Burgess were also present.

Several new projects and other concerns were mentioned during the meeting. You can find out more details about what was said and the impact it will have on the area in this week’s print issue of The Journal, available on newstands throughout the area or subcribe/register to read the online edition now.