“We have a job to do. We are committed to doing our job well and are committed to working with the county. Our goal is to do our job and do it well,” Ruth Rees said Tuesday morning.
By TIMILEE WILBER
BRIDGER VALLEY – Two monitoring wells at the Bridger Valley Landfill show higher concentrations of arsenic, cobalt, selenium and 13 other substances according to an Ingberg-Miller report dated October 5. Also included in the report were findings that seven substances exceeded compliance limits.
The Bridger Valley landfill is scheduled for all but demolition dumping by January 2016, but the damage to local groundwater may already be done.
According to a Dec. 14, 2010, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality report from their Compliance Advisory Panel, “before 1989, it was assumed that the arid climate in Wyoming and the deep groundwater, landfills posed little threat to groundwater. Therefore landfills were exempt from liners. There was little monitoring, and even less stringent monitoring of small landfills.”
Then reality hit. Studies showed that there was evidence of groundwater contamination, and there was no money set aside for clean-up or closures.
Approximately 70 percent of Wyoming residents rely on groundwater for their drinking water.
Also, 82 percent of Wyoming public water systems rely solely on groundwater.
In Wyoming, 111 landfills are within one mile from a drinking water source and 2,600 permitted water supply wells are within one mile of these landfills.
The Bridger Valley landfill is slated to be closed in 2016 because current DEQ permitting regulations have given Uinta County the choice to line the landfill, which according to Terry Brimhall, would cost taxpayers millions, or close the landfill to all but demolition dumping and build a functioning transfer station.
The cost of the construction of the transfer station, and the cost of transporting solid waste to the Evanston #2 landfill will be, according to Baird, approximately one third of the cost of lining the facility and continuing operations there.
However the cost for collection fees for Bridger Valley residents will be going up.
Tipping fees at the facility are presently $40 per ton. In comparison with tipping fees at other landfills in Wyoming the tipping fee here is relatively low. Currently tipping fees at the Casper landfill are $46, but in Fremont County the fee is $80 per ton.
“We have no clue at this point how much collection fees will go up. The worst case scenario is that those costs will at least double,” Brimhall said.
For the complete article see the 11-23-2012 issue.
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