The owner of the giant debris pile in Jasper County says he’s been trying to save his business and protect his neighbors for months But he says he’s faced roadblocks from County and State officials.
80 different visits. That’s how many times Able Contracting owner Chandler Lloyd says DHEC has been to his Jasper County pile.
“I thought you were innocent until you were proven guilty,” said Lloyd. “I feel like they’ve already hung me.”
Chandler Lloyd says despite what many people think, he’s not getting rich. In fact, Chandler says he’s spent $75,000 in the last 60 days on equipment and water to knock down any hot spots just like they did again this morning. Hot spots he says started with a lightning strike.
“I had my men out there this morning. Thank goodness they were here. We brought a water truck over there and they flooded it out, and it (the fire) out.”
He’s already shredded thousands of pounds of debris.
“We were taking the metal the aluminum the cardboard and the wood out.”
But now he can’t move any of it because of the DHEC “emergency order” shutting him down.
“Had DHEC left us alone, we were shredding this material and we were hauling it out and the landfills were liking the material,” said Lloyd. “When we were dealing with the hot spots it never, ever smoked like this.”
“Why wouldn’t you work with somebody? The government is supposed to work for us, we don’t work for the government. I asked for help and I wouldn’t get it.”
“I feel the County and DHEC have been focused on putting us out of business no matter what. now that they got what they want they have a major problem to deal with.”
As for the claims that the smoke is making people in the area sick?
The EPA report on air and water quality in the area will be out this week. EPA officials spent 3 plus days at the site monitoring everything. Lloyd says their report will clear his company.
“He (the EPA official) said he’s not picking up anything that he wouldn’t pick up in a house fire,” said Lloyd. “But he’s got like 100 houses.”
“if you come to do business with us, you sign an agreement with us. of your terms and the biggest thing in that agreement is to not bring in any hazardous waste, and household garbage or medical waste. Does a bag get tossed in the truck from time to time? Oh yes, it does. We have made people load their stuff up or load it for them and had them take it to the landfill. I don’t want that stuff here.”
“Why would I do anything to jeopardize my wife, myself or any one of the people that work for me and what I do for a living? I have a large investment here. Why would I do something stupid?”
As for the neighbors and businesses who have to live with that smoke, that fire, and that smell?
“I’m sorry that this has happened. I think they should get after the County hot and heavy that they should kill this smoke out.”
“I hate that this has happened, but it just shows you government doesn’t do what they are supposed to do all the time.”
Lloyd says now his hands are tied by the DHEC order. He can’t move any of the debris already shredded, and can’t afford to shred any more without the ability to sell any recycled material.
Already Lloyd says his once-thriving 30 person business will be down to 3 by the end of the week.
He doesn’t believe Able Contracting will ever be able to do business in this area again.