Consider solutions

Published 9:16 am Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Having clean water is not only necessary for survival, but expecting clean water from one’s tap is something that most of us take for granted.

It was concerning to hear residents of Shelburn Lane express alarm about a tentative agreement between the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the now-closed Weaver Landfill, located on Shelburn Lane, to terminate post-closure monitoring. This includes groundwater monitoring, surface water management, stormwater management, final cover system activities and maintenance of associated appurtenances.

This is particularly concerning as County Administrator Tracy Gee said that the Weaver Landfill closed in the early 2000s due to multiple violations that include failure to obtain a conditional use permit, failure to obtain a zoning permit and extending and enlarging a non-conforming structure in a manner that does not conform with the provisions of the ordinance.

While debate exists about whether the county had less stringent zoning laws during the time the landfill opened, the landfill was still found with multiple violations and closed.

Donald Gee, an attorney based in Richmond whose mother lives adjacent to the landfill, said she and other residents sometimes experience water that turns green or becomes discolored if the water sits out.

Eliminating post-closure monitoring would put the strain on residents to monitor the water themselves, particularly as water quality monitoring equipment does not come cheap.

The county has expressed support on the side of the landowners but does not believe their opinion has the authority to sway the decision of the DEQ.

A solution may not come easily but I strongly encourage the DEQ to re-consider post monitoring the landfill.

Particularly in light of reports that the landfill allegedly contains material with asbestos and its closing following multiple violations.

Emily Hollingsworth is a staff reporter for The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is Emily.