Delivery of coal ash from Puerto Rico to Osceola County landfill ends

Ken Tyndall reports.

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — An Osceola County landfill has officially stopped receiving coal ash from Puerto Rico that was the subject of much debate for months.

The JED Landfill previously told county officials in early August that it planned to stop taking in the coal ash.

The stoppage will result in having the landfill reduce the volume of coal ash from Puerto Rico by approximately 60,000 tons, according to a release from Osceola County officials.

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"In addition to moving to end the delivery of the coal ash from AES in Puerto Rico, we were successful in our request to observe and monitor additional sampling and testing of coal ash at the landfill," Osceola County Chairwoman Cheryl Grieb said in the release. "While Florida's Department of Environmental Protection has the sole legal authority and responsibility to oversee landfill operations, the County worked with JED Landfill to end the delivery of out-of-state coal ash."

The coal ash in the shipments have always met federal mandates and the potentially dangerous chemicals in the ash were kept at safe levels.

Residents still ramped up their protests over the shipments, contending that the coal ash dumping was too close to schools and residences.

"This is my community, and these are my children," protester Ronda Roseman said in May. "(In the morning), you come out on my porch and you can smell the dump. So if I smell that dump and that trash, that ash is in the air, too."

The county claims the landfill has received coal ash from other locations around the state for years.

Some residents are also calling for the removal of coal ash that has already made its way to the county, but there is no indication if that is even a consideration.