Landfill will stop accepting coal ash from Puerto Rico

Osceola County residents are celebrating a coal ash victory, sort of. 

The final shipment of Puerto Rican coal ash should be arriving this week to Osceola County's controversial J.E.D. Landfill. Unexpected, as the company said it would not stop accepting ash until October.

"We did an amendment to their permit and so we will cancel that so therefore after the last is taken this week, then they will no longer take any coal ash from outside the State of Florida," said Cheryl Grieb, Chair, Osceola County Board of County Commissioners.

A major shift, as the original agreement allowed an unlimited amount of ash to be accepted and left the door open to extend the agreement indefinitely.  Outrage from the community, over health concerns, was likely a reason for the decision.

"While that's a really thrilling victory and I'm glad to hear that, I do think it's a hollow victory," said Loret Thatcher, concerned resident. "I think we have learned a lot from it, I think our commissioners have learned a lot from it that they need to be more cautious with what they're doing because some things can't be undone."

Thatcher lives just a few miles from the landfill and has been outspoken about the deal from the start. Thatcher is happy no more coal ash from Puerto Rico will be coming, but she's still worried.

"We're still in danger because there's still going to be coal ash going in there and that coal ash still exists in the landfill," said Thatcher.

Thatcher referring to the fact the Landfill is still allowed to accept coal ash from around the State. Residents fear a hurricane or other disaster could cause the ash to contaminate the air or groundwater.

"All we can do now is pray that there's never an accident at that landfill, where the coal ash will jeopardize us," said Thatcher.

The County has yet to officially terminate the deal.