The towns of Dayton, Farmington and Lind will discuss next month whether to request changes to the old landfill’s monitoring program.
“There has been no action by the board. This is the first public presentation,” said Ted Warpinski, an environmental attorney from Milwaukee. He spoke Thursday, Oct. 28, at an informational meeting regarding the old landfill.
The meeting was held at Dayton Town Hall. Members of the three town boards attended, as well as a handful of Dayton residents.
The three town boards met in closed session with Warpinski prior to the public meeting. They conferred with him regarding settlement negotiations with the towns’ insurers over responsibility for landfill investigation and remediation costs.
The closed session also included discussion of the status of the landfill investigation required by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
No action was taken when they returned to open session.
Warpinski said a meeting is being scheduled for Dec. 13.
“I think the expectation at that meeting is they will decide if they want to submit (the request) or not,” he said.
The three towns own the closed landfill located on a 27-acre parcel on East Road in Dayton. The landfill opened in 1970, closed in 1990, and was later linked to groundwater contamination in the area.
During the Oct. 28 public meeting, Mark Strobel, the senior project manager at AECOM in Wausau, said the towns’ options include a continuation of monitoring under the existing plan or a request to modify the plan. Changes in the plan could result in less frequent testing at the landfill.
Currently, data is collected from monitoring wells every three months.
Strobel said the three towns are spending a lot of money for the monitoring, and data is showing that things have not changed.
A supplemental site investigation report about the old landfill was submitted to the DNR in January 2008.
A letter written in May 2008 by Terry Evanson, with the DNR’s Bureau of Remediation and Redevelopment, said “My basic conclusion is that natural attenuation processes appear to be controlling the CVOC (chlorinated volatile organic compound) contamination plume emanating from this old landfill.”
His conclusion was based on evidence that the plume appeared to be stable and that overall CVOC concentrations at the landfill are low.
Strobel said there will be fluctuations in the plume but that it is stable or receding.
If the three town boards agree to request a modification to how often the old landfill is monitored, Strobel said the tests that are now conducted quarterly would be done semiannually, the semiannual tests would be annual, and the annual tests would be eliminated or stay annual.
“Six wells have shown no VOC detects in the last four monitors,” he said.
Strobel said wells that were eliminated from testing could be tested again in five years.
When one resident who lives near the old landfill said that five years seems a long time, Strobel said the wells at any homes could be sampled under a recommendation of the three towns.
Bob Van Epps lives on East Road and said they need to set up a defensive perimeter around the landfill.
“Maybe it will be fine for five years. A lot can happen in a five-year period with contaminants. I feel you’re doing a good job, but I have a problem with eliminating those that are close to the landfill itself,” Van Epps said.
Strobel replied that the plan would not be to eliminate the wells close to the landfill.
Van Epps said the request would be to downgrade how often the wells were monitored. He suggested that fewer tests could miss possible contaminants in the groundwater.
Strobel said the plume and contamination concentrations have remained stable or are decreasing, and that he recommends reducing the sampling frequency and moving wells with no VOC etection to a five-year monitoring program.
If the three town boards agree to request a modification of the landfill monitoring plan, the DNR will then prepare a plan and submit it for public comment.
“The DNR would respond to each comment and then finalize it,” Strobel said. “The hope is that we have it in place by March of 2011.”