ATLANTA - Michael Bond has been on the Atlanta City Council for more than 20 years. He was horrified to learn from an I-Team investigation that the city owns an unregulated landfill - known as the Baby Gun Club landfill in northwest Atlanta.
"This is absolutely appalling. It's a dereliction of duty. We need to do an investigation to find out who knew what, why and when."
A FOX 5 I-team investigation discovered the existence of Baby Gun Club Landfill buried deep in internal city memos, letters, engineering reports, and in two lawsuits that were quietly filed and then settled.
Through eyewitnesses who saw the dumping, aerial photographs from the '60s and '70s that show the cleared off dump site, and internal documents we found widespread dumping of - who knows what - on the land for years. All the dumping took place before strict environmental laws were put in place.
"We were disposing of stuff in the ’70s that today we call hazardous waste. So, you’re getting the possibility of all kinds of things migrating into the groundwater into Proctor Creek, and then the river," said former EPD Compliance Director Bert Langley.
Baby Gun Club sits south of Gun Club landfill which operated for 20 years before it was closed. The city discovered Baby Gun Club Landfill while closing the permitted Gun Club Landfill. The city officially closed, capped, and monitored Gun Club Landfill, but didn't touch Baby Gun club Landfill.
"I’ve never heard of the term baby Gun club," said City Council President Felicia Moore.
Felicia Moore was a council member from the Gun Club area for years and is now City Council President.
"It appears to me, more of a bureaucratic secret," said Moore.
Now, two members of the Atlanta City Utilities Committee want a full report from the city asking what happened at the Baby Gun club and why. Councilman Michael Bond asked the city to provide a complete explanation of how Baby Gun Club came to be and why no elected officials knew it existed.
"I do want the answers, but I think this is a concern for the entire city," said Bond during the meeting.
"We demand and expect a full report of what has happened at that location," said Councilman Dustin Hillis.
Baby Gun Club dump site sits in Hillis' district. He says the council can't change the past.
"We can clean up the site, fix what we've done, or generations before us, have done. And it's time to do that," said Hillis who admitted it could be expensive.
Georgia Environmental Protection Division Manager, William Cook, told the I-Team through an email:
- EPD has found no evidence of an environmental hazard at what is commonly referred to as the Baby Gun Club landfill. We would investigate complaints and work with the city of Atlanta to resolve any issues that may be discovered.
- The Baby Gun Club landfill pre-dates any Rules or Laws regarding solid waste disposal and therefore is not subject to modern closure requirements.
- The Gun Club Road landfill is a properly permitted and closed landfill. The closure adheres to a corrective action plan that includes a methane collection system, groundwater monitoring and erosion controls.