Saturday, December 29, 2007

Republic Services outlines new timetable at Pike Township dump in note to Ohio EPA

Bob Downing reports at, the official website of the Akron Beacon, on the installation of new pumps to remove excess water from a troubled landfill in Stark County, which is expected to be completed by mid-February:

Building two relief wells will likely take until Feb. 29, said Florida-based Republic Services Inc., the parent company of Countywide Recycling & Disposal Facility in Pike Township.
The revised timetable is outlined in a recent letter from Republic Services to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

The timetable is expected to be part of new findings and orders from Ohio EPA Director Chris Korleski. The schedule was worked out between the company and the agency in two weeks of meetings about the fires and odors from the 258-acre landfill.

The initial EPA order called for the work to be completed by early December. However, the company needed more time. The latest plan calls for installing 37 additional dewatering pumps, along with related infrastructure, by Feb. 15, the company said.

In addition, new air compressors will be installed by Jan. 31 and two relief wells by Feb. 29, the company said.

Winter weather could affect that schedule, but the company will do its best to comply, said Clarke M. Lundell, the company's director of engineering.

The EPA in November had issued findings and orders, but those deadlines need to be revised.
The EPA said landfill fluids which may be contributing to the chemical reactions and fires are accumulating faster than expected, affecting the ability of gas extraction wells to do their job and slowing the process of liquid removal. The fluids also make the landfill less stable.

The agency said the landfill will produce about 25 million gallons of liquid runoff this year.
The chemical-laced liquid is hauled to sewage plants in northern Ohio for treatment and disposal.

Removing the excess liquid was ordered by EPA Director Chris Korleski as an initial step to extinguish the fires and as a way to slow the chemical reaction between the liquid and buried aluminum wastes.

Pumping off the excess liquid would help dry out and cool the landfill, the EPA said.
What happens after the liquids finally are removed will help shape the final remedy for the landfill, officials said.

The EPA could require Republic Services to cap the affected area with synthetic liners and install additional gas-extraction wells until the landfill is fully stabilized. That approach is preferred by the company, although it could take up to six years to be fully implemented.
Another option would be to order the company to excavate the landfill or a portion of it.

That would be a costly, time-consuming and risky proposition that would create big odor problems. Such a remedy might take two to seven years. In a related development, Republic Services last week released a report that it says shows temperatures dropping within the landfill.

That is evidence that the fires are ''under control and beginning to subside,'' the company said in a statement.

The evidence comes in the form of up to 250 temperature readings from gas-extraction wells within the landfill, especially the 88-acre tract where the fires and odor problems originated.

The trend over the last six months is a slight lowering in temperatures from 194 degrees to 190 degrees, said senior program manager Michael Beaudoin of Earth Tech Inc., a consulting firm.
That trend ''could indicate a lessoning of the reaction in the landfill,'' he said. ''This means the measures we are taking to remediate the landfill are working.''

Normal internal landfill temperatures run from 110 to 150 degrees. The highest temperature at Countywide is 240 degrees, the company said.

Berlin Technologies

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