Fine Agreement Not Yet Reached For Fulton Landfill

8 years 4 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, September 30 2010 Sep 30, 2010 Thursday, September 30, 2010 10:18:41 AM CDT September 30, 2010 in News
FULTON - Fulton city officials are still in negotiation with the Missouri Department of Natural Resource over Fulton Solid Waste Landfill fines. The city and the DNR met Tuesday night at the Fulton city council meeting to work on an agreement.

These fines come after the landfill was cited for three violations.

“One was for water, one was for inadequate cover, and one was for methane gas leaving the property line,” solid waste manager J.C. Miller said.

The landfill has received various violations in the past, but methane gas has been on ongoing issue for ten years.

“One of the main problems we have out there is as trash breaks down and decomposes under ground it creates methane and we’ve had methane approaching the property lines of the landfill,” Fulton director of administration Bill Johnson said.

DNR found the landfill to be out of compliance when methane gas was found outside the permitted boundary of the landfill. However, it is still within the city’s property. Residents living near the landfill were warned about the methane levels, but none of them are affected at the moment.

“The city has taken many steps over the past few years to correct the methane issue,” Johnson said. “We’ve put in a number of wells that will allow the methane to escape.  We’ve dug trenches, which is an attempt to make the methane from moving from one side of the property line to the other. We’ve installed a vacuum pump to try and suck the methane out of the ground. We’ve taken a number of steps in order to correct the actions.”

Miller says the landfill’s new approach is to put in a 10,000 gallon tank that will soon dewater gas wells. This will allow the methane to escape in the permitted boundaries.

The landfill currently has ten methane wells and will need ten more in the future.

A water violation was found as well.

“We’ve had storm water runoff,” Johnson said. “We’ve experienced large rains. The water hits the trash and the dirt and then runs off and then runs off into creeks.”

Miller explained the sediment pond they have in the borrow area should help this problem. The pond allows for a cleaner discharge of water.

The last violation the landfill was cited for was inadequate cover. This means not enough dirt was put on the landfill to prevent trash to blow away in the wind.

“What we’ve done, we’ve actually changed our operation,” Miller said. “We are keeping everything in a confined space. We’re just filling the large areas in that we have left here at the landfill.”

Although the landfill is working hard to fix the violations, Johnson said violations are expected at any landfill.

“Almost any landfill is going to have violations from time to time, it’s just really hard to be perfect everyday,” Johnson said. “The weather plays such a tremendous impact on the operations. But it says right in the permit that we get from the Department of Natural Resources to operate the landfill that we can never use weather as an excuse. I’m not using it as an excuse, but it does play a major role.”

Johnson discussed violations the landfill faced in the past.

“In the past few years we have had a few odor complaints issued by the residents to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources,” Johnson said. “On every occurrence the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has come out and they are able to test and so far the DNR has not found us non compliant. Basically they say it’s okay. In the DNR’s eyes and ours we have not had an odor issue."

Residents living near the landfill said they are concerned about the violations, but soon violations will not be a problem. Johnson said the city is planning to close the landfill May of next year.

“We’ve had some issues in the past,” Johnson said. “Our landfill is very near to being full anyway so we’re just going to close and get out of the business.”

The landfill was opened in 1978 and is 32 acres. Currently the landfill takes in about 73 tons of trash per day.

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