Waste water from chemical leak brought to Hurricane landfill - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Waste water from chemical leak brought to Hurricane landfill

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HURRICANE, WV -

UPDATE:

Waste Management released a statement Thursday, March 13, about the waste water being brought to Disposable Services, Inc. and it reads:

"We certainly recognize the sensitivities and want to assure everyone that the waste coming into DSI Landfill is non-hazardous. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) approves the waste stream which comes into Waste Management's DSI Landfill and DSI Landfill is only accepting waste in accordance with its permit.

"The WVDEP has determined the waste in question that is currently being taken in at our DSI landfill is not by definition a hazardous product. We will continue to utilize best practices to ensure there is no potential harm to the environment or the community in which we operate."

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UPDATE

Hurricane Mayor, Scott Edwards, released a statement at about 9 p.m. March 12 regarding wastewater from the Freedom spill site that is being brought to a Hurricane landfill.

The statement reads:

"I was just notified that large amounts of water containing MCHM residue from the chemical leak that affected WV American Water Company's water source is being transferred by tanker trucks to a landfill in Hurricane, and has been since March 7th. 

"From what I've heard, the DEP modified the landfill's permit and do not consider this product hazardous as they are solidifying the MCHM containing liquid prior to it being dumped in the landfill, but I HAVE MY CONCERNS. Not notifying me or others in the county really infuriates me. Folks along Rt. 60 and Rt. 34 have been smelling licorice in the air, which is what brought this to light — if they would not have reported the smell, they would have continued to dump this substance in the landfill without telling local officials, which is just bad practice. 

"I am going to do what I can to stop this from continuing, but I have a feeling that I will be met with deaf ears and it will continue. While I am not a chemist, I know that I do not want this material entering a local landfill, entering into the ground, then the leachate from the landfill entering our waste water treatment plant, then ultimately entering Hurricane Creek. 

"The runoff and the leachate CAN NOT reach the city's public water supply watershed. There is NO DANGER of the runoff or leachate entering into our municipal water system from the landfill, but I do not know what other dangers exist by them dumping this MCHM waste water into a local landfill. 

"I would ask each and everyone of you to immediately call the Office of the Governor at (304) 558-2000 and protest this action and ask him to take steps to stop it."

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ORIGINAL STORY, 4:34 p.m. March 12:

A company is transferring approximately 36,000 gallons of waste water to a landfill in Hurricane, WV.

Freedom Industries is transporting the waste water from a massive chemical leak that left 300,000 people without clean drinking water. The company is bringing the waste water to Disposal Services, Inc. in Hurricane, which is owned by Waste Management, according to Tom Aluise, a spokesperson for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

Aluise said crews are mixing the waste water with sawdust before dumping it into the landfill. The DEP approved a modified permit for this process, which the landfill obtained in February. Environmental regulators will allow the practices to continue until October 2014.

The spokesperson said the landfills are lined, equipped with leak detection systems and groundwater monitoring wells.

In addition,  the water that leaches through the landfill, otherwise known as the leachate, collects in underground pipes. Aluise said the waste water is treated before it's discharged.

Environmental regulators do not classify the waste water as "hazardous waste," according to Aluise.

So far, crews have transported 36,000 gallons of waste water to DSI, which included:

  • 1 load on March 7
  • 3 loads on March 10
  • 3 loads on March 11
  • 2 loads on March 12

Each load was 4,000 gallons.

Freedom Industries is looking for other ways to dispose of this waste water as well. 

Several people had called WOWK-TV, complaining about a licorice odor in the Hurricane area. The Division of Air Quality responded to the landfill Wednesday, March 12, walked around the facility and determined the odors were not at objectionable levels. The DEP received only one formal odor complaint March 12.