JACKSON COUNTY, Mo. — A study on the possible health impacts a proposed landfill in south Kansas City could have on the population show concerns about respiratory issues and other risks.
The Jackson County Health Department released a health impact assessment on the effect the proposed landfill could have on thousands of people living within miles of the site.
The health department said the eight-page assessment is meant to inform the residents of Eastern Jackson County.
One of the biggest concerns listed in the assessment is that a possible exposure to chemicals and pollution from the plant could lead to respiratory issues such as asthma.
“We just wanted to add to the conversation give our input on what the health impacts would be. Most of what we were seeing was economic concerns,” Meghan Senne, Health Policy Coordinator at Jackson County Health Department.
The study suggests that instead of building landfills, the area should work to decrease the amount of waste.
“Property value is big, but nothing comes close to the health concerns especially being so close to so many children,” Creekmoor resident Sarah Thompson said.
The health department says KC Recycling and Waste Solutions is the company that wants to build the landfill, even though the company has not yet applied for a permit with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Since the formal process has not begun, it is not known exactly what impact the proposed landfill could have on groundwater and other issues.
“When we realized how close it was going to be to homes in the region, especially on the northern border of Raymore, we realized health effects were going to be the number one priority for us,” Raymore Mayor Kris Turnbow said.
The site borders Jackson County and sits between 150 Highway and 155th Street. The location is less than a mile away from homes in Raymore. The health department says the site is also within two miles of Summit Pointe Elementary School in the Lee’s Summit school district.
Communities across Jackson County have passed resolutions opposing the project.
“There may be shortness of breath coughing or wheezing associated with higher levels of chemical gas emissions from landfills,” Senne said. “Those nuisance odors can cause headaches nausea or eye, nose, throat irritation as well.”
Missouri lawmakers proposed legislation preventing any landfill from operating within a mile of a community. The legislation would have killed the project. The bill passed the Missouri House, but did not make it out of the senate.
“We understand that landfills are a necessary evil and that there may be a need in the next decade or two decades. But this location is just a poor location, awful location,” Turnbow said.
The full impact analysis is available online through the Jackson County Health Department’s website.