County trashes waste plan

  Elmore County, Idaho, residents voted overwhelmingly this past election to allow the continued shipment of out-of-state nuclear wastes to a site 200 miles to the east of them. But they are putting their foot down on a plan to place the state's largest landfill in their backyard.

The planning and zoning commission decided to deny Idaho Waste System's application for a mile-square dump that could have handled 5,000 tons of trash a day; the county's three commissioners upheld the decision Nov. 20.

Opponents of the landfill in the largely rangeland setting 30 miles east of Boise were able to collect over 3,000 signatures against the project. Anti-dump critics attacked the plan for bringing in trash from around the Pacific Northwest. Fred Shoemaker, attorney for Idaho Waste System, says an appeal against the commissioner's decision will probably be filed in either state or federal court in the near future. "I wouldn't try to pretend that placing a solid waste facility in Elmore County has met with popularity by the local residents," Shoemaker said.

* John Rosapepe
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