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Land Fill Cleanup, Where To Start? [AUDIO]

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The Wyoming Water and Waste Advisory Board continued the work of establishing a priority list when it comes to the clean up our old land fills across Wyoming; Landfills that are leaching contaminants into ground water.

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“Unfortunately, we all in lots of states in the arid west–and we’re probably one of the last to make these changes–we all assumed it was too dry in the arid west and that landfills shouldn’t impact ground water. So we operated our land fills under those assumptions and we didn’t line them.”

Bob Doctor is with the Solid Waste Permitting and Corrective Action Program located here in Casper. He says the results of that belief is that 96 percent, or 73 monitored landfill sites, across that state have statistically significant amounts of pollutants reaching ground water, rivers or streams.

Those sites need to be cleaned up and the ball park cleanup costs delivered to the legislature last session is for around $226 million.

“Our garbage usually has been out of site, out of mind. You put it outside and somebody comes and gets it and that’s the end of it. Well, because of the problems with ground water and the rising costs, all of sudden this is getting peoples’ attention and it effects everybody. We all generate garbage.”

He says the advisory board hopes to finalize a priority list at a meeting scheduled for the end of June. The list will considered, amongst a a number of issues; severity, types of contaminants and proximity to rivers and streams.

Doctor says from there they will work on site specific plans to create a more accurate cost estimate for remediation. That process needs to be completed by 2012. Clean up funds have yet to be appropriated.

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