By: Lydia Crawley
The Parsons Advocate
Tucker County Solid Waste Presiding Chair Mark Holstine outlined plans for a new cell to the Solid Waste Authority Board on January. The plans for construction of a new cell at the Landfill will be “unique,” according to Holsine. Holstine said, “That is going to be a major modification to our permit and we are going to be asking for a unique design, so we have to give ourselves time to get it through permitting.”
According to Holsine, the plan will be to lay a liner down over the existing cell instead of adding a “cap” to it. Holsine said most cells are capped with some having liners placed over the top of the cap. According to Holsine, his plan is to forego the cap and just place a liner over everything prior to establishing the new cell. “We’re wanting – me and Jody (Alderman) – to line over top of that for our next cell,” Holstine said. “We want to bring our liner all the way to the top of what you can see out there.”
Holstine said he has already spoken to the engineer about the plans and that he has asked the engineer to open talks with the Department of Environmental Protection about the proposed design. “What I’m asking him to do is to go ahead and contact DEP, start a conversation on that seal cap,” Holstine said. “This is what we want to do, will you all approve it and if not, what will you approve?”
According to Holsine, the DEP said there is a lot of waste that is not currently capped. The plan would cover the current uncapped waste and be able to be tied into the new cell, Holsine said.“But if I am going to come over it and put liner over it, do I absolutely have to cap it?” Holstine said. “Why do I need a closure cap on something I am getting ready to put a liner on?”
Holsine acknowledged that the plan could be viewed as unorthodox by the DEP. Holsine also said that he is not even sure the entity will allow the Landfill to pursue the plan. “How they are going to allow us to do that is a question,” Holstine said. “It doesn’t happen all the time.”
Holstine, Alderman and the engineer are all in agreement with the design, according to Holstine. However, Holstine said he has concerns that the Department of Environmental Protection may not allow the design. “We’re on the same page,” Holstine said. “I can see it working that way. I’m not so sure the DEP Permitting will allow it to occur that way.”
According to Holsine, it can take a year to 18 months to submit a major modification to the DEP. “It normally takes 12 to 18 months to get a major modification to the DEP anyway,” Holstine said. “So, I said three years, realistically, before we have to build the next cell,” Holstine said.
The need for the unique design and modification stems from a problem that is developing from the current design of the landfill, according to Holsine. “The way this is designed, or lack thereof, if we don’t use that area, we are going to end up with a big V notch in our landfill because they did not anticipate this in the design,” Holstine said. “I don’t know what they were anticipating in the design, but you are going to end up with a big V.”
As well as being empty air, the notch in the Landfill would also create a large valley that would hold water, according to Holsine. Holsine said the Landfill is allowed to use what he termed “valuable” air space in the problem area. By utilizing the air space, the Landfill will gain elevation and not have to expand outwards, thereby extending the life of the Landfill, according to Holsine. “We’ll extend the life of our future construction a lot because we’re going to gain a whole lot of elevation and all of what we gain in elevation can be tapered back into what you see out there now.”
Holsine said a realistic timeline for the project would likely be three to four years for construction of the new cell. “We’re probably looking at three to four years,” Holstine said. “Hopefully closer to four, realistically closer to three.”
The next meeting of the Tucker County Solid Waste Authority will be held on February 26th at 3 p.m. at the T.C.S.W.A Office located at 284 Landfill Road in Davis.