Landfill monitoring terminated

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The closed Weaver Landfill, located at 576 Shelburn Lane, is no longer required to receive post-closure monitoring, according to a letter from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to the incorporation associated with the closed landfill.

The letter was addressed to Phil Peet, president of Weaver Landfill, Inc. from Kyle Ivar Winter, deputy regional director of Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

The letter, dated Feb. 12, cited that DEQ completed the review of the certification, signed by Peet on Feb. 15, 2018, and William G. Hase on Feb. 16, 2018, verifying that post-closure care (PCC) was completed in accordance with the post-closure care plan.

“The Department has determined that post-closure care monitoring and maintenance may be discontinued at the above referenced facility based on the certification and evaluation provided, review of DEQ records, review of the Dec. 6, 2018 public comment summary, and the Department’s site inspection conducted on Feb. 28, 2018,” the letter cited. “Based on your demonstration of satisfactory completion of post-closure care, Weaver Landfill, Inc. is released from the requirements of Solid Waste Permit No. 471 for the operation and maintenance of the Weaver Closed Industrial Landfill effective the date of this letter. However, please note the facility may be subject to annual solid waste management fees in accordance with 9 VAC 20- 90-115 and Table 4.1 of 9 VAC 20-90-130 for 2019 because the facility was still operating under post-closure care during the calendar year.”

The solid waste permit for the landfill has also been revoked, and the incorporation is no longer required to demonstrate financial assurance for the Weaver Landfill.

A letter that arrived to residents surrounding the landfill in September 2018 created concern among residents, who spoke about dramatic decline of water quality and discolored water that began when the landfill was in operation. The water, residents said, could turn green or pink.

Because the landfill accepted products with asbestos in addition to other items that neighbors said were not regulated nor inspected, there is also concern about chemical leakage that could still occur.

The public hearing, held Nov. 15, 2018, brought dozens of residents who live near the landfill, and county administrators who expressed concern about the termination of post-closure monitoring.

The Weaver Landfill was closed in the early 2000s, county administration cited, because the company could not follow procedures for zoning correctly and violated several zoning ordinances. This eventually led to the landfill closing due to not being in compliance with local zoning laws.

Engineering company Draper Aden representative Dr. Leonard Neal “Rip” Ford spoke during the Nov. 15 meeting and cited that the water located in the monitoring wells around the landfill have been tested and are considered safe enough to drink. Asbestos does not dissolve in water, and Ford said the DEQ does not require testing for asbestos levels in groundwater.

Ford said that past tests at monitoring wells further downhill from the landfill found levels of trichlorofluoromethane (Freon 11) and dichloroethane in the monitoring wells that exceeded the standard amount for drinking water. Freon, he said, is used in refrigerators and he said has been found to not be environmentally friendly.

He also cited a chemical, dichloroethane, that exceeded the levels. Dichloroethane, according to documentation from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is described as a manufactured chemical used in production of plastic and vinyl materials. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Toxicology Program with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services cite dichloroethane as a probable human carcinogen, possibly carcinogenic to humans and reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen respectively.

Ford said the measurements used in the tests constitutes measurements of particles per billion, comparing the measurement to measuring a half-teaspoon of water in an Olympic-sized swimming pool at 660,000 gallons.

He said the landfill company injected bacteria and other material in four wells they installed that could help degrade the chemicals.

The DEQ cited in the Feb. 12 letter that the DEQ completed the review of the Termination of Post-Closure Activity (TPCA) Evaluation prepared by Hase and signed and dated on Feb. 15, 2018, with revisions received on July 23, 2018, “assessing and evaluating the landfill’s potential for harm to human health and the environment in the event that post-closure monitoring and maintenance is discontinued.”

The letter cited that the DEQ provided tentative approval for termination of post-closure care monitoring and maintenance activities in a letter dated Aug. 29, 2018.

The facility sent letters to all adjacent property owners notifying them of the Department’s tentative decision.

The DEQ received a copy of the notice sent and a list of persons notified on Sept. 5, 2018.

The DEQ also received a signed Request for Voluntary Revocation of permit on Sept. 6, 2018. “Due to expressed public interest during the required public comment period, Weaver Landfill, Inc. voluntarily held a public information meeting on Nov. 15, 2018,” the letter cited.

The DEQ received a summary of public comments and responses from the facility on Dec. 6, 2018.