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People at the DEQ event demand information about the proposed Shepherd landfill



Shepherd, Montana – In just nine days, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality will conclude its extended public comment session on a proposed auto shredder residue landfill. Tuesday night, more than a hundred neighborhood people showed up to the public hearing to express their concerns.

“The design that they do have and the proposal that they do have is very incomplete and inconsistent,” said Shepherd resident Anellise Deters.

Five days into the first 10-day public comment period, Deters learned about the dump project, and she got to work stopping the Pacific Steel and Recycling project.

“In less than 48 hours I created a flyer, I was going door to door telling everyone about it. Getting everyone to email DEQ,” Deters said.

Deters lives along Highway 87 and Shepherd Acton Road, a short distance from the proposed landfill site. She claims five people have already perished in auto accidents at the intersection, therefore she is worried about what effect it might have on traffic on the road. She is also concerned about the landfill’s potential effects on the quality of the air and water.

“They haven’t talked about any of the contaminants at all, which is very concerning. They’re putting in a liner, so obviously they know there’s a potential to contaminate the groundwater and soil, but what are they contaminating it with? They haven’t said. Nowhere in the proposal,” she said.

The DEQ stated that although it has finished the required environmental evaluation on the dump, it will still take public concerns into account before approving Pacific Steel and Recycling.

“We have heard concern and quite a bit of opposition, which is exactly why we are here,” DEQ Waste Management Administrator Amy Steinmetz said. “Based on the information that we have now, we would be able to permit the landfill. However, there’s a reason why we go through this process.”

Public comments may be sent to DEQ by mail or online through November 30.

“Through the law and through science, if we permit this landfill it will be protective of human health and the environment,” Steinmetz said.

Deters insisted that it shouldn’t be constructed and that her conversations with others support this.

“I haven’t met a single person that’s for it,” Deters said.


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