Commission discusses land fill plan for reclaiming cells
The Emery County Commission met in Green River for their Aug. 15, meeting. The board of equalization was held prior to the meeting for Green River residents.
The commission discussed the plan for the landfill and the contract with IGES. The first cells at the landfill have reached capacity and plans are underway for the covering of these cells. The blue shale readily available in the county has been deemed adequate material to use for the covering. The blue shale must be of a finer consistency and not the heavy material typical. The plan has been developed over the last few years and approved by the state. Johansen and Tuttle Engineering will do the monitoring of the covering and keep tabs on the consistency of the dirt cover. The contract with IGES is in the amount of $6,710.
Morris Sorensen, road department head, said 65,000 yards of material is needed for cover and they have at present 9,000 suitable yards for cover. They need to develop the rest of the fill material. The required fill amount has lessened considerable from the original cover plan.
Commissioner Gary Kofford reported because of the dryness of the Emery County material a 30 inch cover would be adequate. If it settles more dirt will be put on top. The material must be kept as loose as possible. They only want water going down as far as four-five inches on the filled cell and no water going into the landfill.
Commissioner Kofford pointed out this is just one of those things required by law they must comply with and also they must test for methane gas.
Commissioner Ira Hatch said the project will be done on an ongoing basis. Commissioner Kofford said the test on the top soil pile was completed and they will be able to use that material, but it will be the harder and larger particles and smaller lighter fill will also need to be developed.
Commissioner Kofford said, "The last thing we want to do is get a lot of dirt on and find out it's not acceptable.
Sorensen is in charge of the landfill as part of his road department duties. He said the first cell began to be filled 20 years ago and two cells were added on top of the first one, this created a hill.
The hill must now be covered by the fill material. There is no set time on when it needs to be done. The site will continue to be monitored for 30 years. They could wait until the landfill has reached its life expectancy, but they are trying to do the reclamation work as they go to cut costs from an initial huge cleanup at the end. The pit currently being used now and subsequent cells will last approximately another 20 years.
Sorensen said the Emery County landfill is fortunate because they haven't required a membrane or a clay liner because the material at the landfill is suitable and there isn't a problem with leaching. Sorensen said this is possible because the average rainfall in Emery County is only seven inches and the water evaporates before it gets to the material. The blue slate is bedrock material very conducive to a good landfill material.
The state has consented to use the soil that is on site. This is the first time this has been allowed so the landfill will be monitored quite heavily. Hopefully, enough material can be gathered in the landfill area to meet the needs of covering the first cells.
The county is also working with the BLM to purchase 40 acres around the landfill to be used at the gun range and also as a gravel source. The county would still need a lease for the mineral rights and a special use permit as the BLM maintains the mineral rights to the land.
The state has two tests they conduct to make sure the water can't percolate through and penetrate the cell.
Tests will continue to be conducted on the pile and as the cell is covered. Compaction tests will also be conducted as the material must remain as loose as possible.
The county still doesn't have the go ahead with the state to begin covering the cell.
Once suitability studies have been completed the landfill can go ahead with beginning to cover the cell.
It is yet to be determined if the covering will take place with a big push from the road department or if the state will allow the work to be completed as the landfill personnel have the time to do it.
The IGES company has experience with environmental engineering and requirements for landfills.
They have been instrumental in helping convince the state to allow the landfill to use materials on site for the cover. Johansen and Tuttle will conduct the onsite tests and the results will be forwarded to IGES and onto the state.
Sorensen said, "IGES has been very helpful and cooperative in working with the state."