Pocahontas County Landfill Permit Renewal Process Is Continuing

At the July 26th regular meeting of the Pocahontas County Solid Waste Authority, the landfill permit renewal process, which began in the spring of 2022, was discussed. Ed Riley, Chairman of the Authority, said that the state is proposing to add requirements to the permit which are impractical for a small landfill like this one, and we need to convince them to change several of these new requirements. He said we need to stay with the current monthly screening of the face of the waste cells, rather than the proposed more frequent screenings which will be required to be done deeper into the cells. Riley said we also need them to do away with a new requirement to place a notation on the deed regarding the property’s use as a landfill, since we only lease the landfill property and do not control the deed.  The permit might also require that the Authority place an additional million and a half dollars a year for several years into a bond to ensure that there will be enough money available when the landfill is eventually closed. That bond would be in addition to the bonds the authority has already established for that purpose. He said it would be completely unaffordable for the authority to do that. Chris McComb, the Landfill manager added that the new permit will also require that the groundwater sampling reports must be sent to the state within 25 days of the sampling, but he doesn’t even receive that report within 25 days.

Riley said they are preparing to send an application to raise the tipping fees to the state.

There was also a discussion about the difficulties with finding any place to accept the “white goods” which are disposed of at the landfill. White goods refer to household appliances such as refrigerators, washers and dryers. Jacob Meck of Allegheny Disposal, who attended the meeting said they they would be willing to place a 30-yard dumpster at the landfill for white goods, and charge the landfill for hauling it to Elkins Metal. Meck said they will try and sell the white goods for a profit at Elkins, but sometimes they would lose money and sometimes make a profit. The authority passed a motion to do this.

It was suggested that extra tipping fees should be applied to the disposal of white goods at the landfill, however that would have to be approved and could not begin until July of 2024.

McComb said that there was a problem with raised chloride levels in one of their ground water test wells, and there was raised PH levels on another, however he believes the company that conducts the semi-annual ground water testing had brought already contaminated tubes which are used to test the water.

McComb also said the tonnage deposited at the new green box site in Frank has increased by 1 to 1,5 tons since the site moved there from Bartow. He said the Town of Durbin brings their trash to the green boxes in huge loads instead of in more frequent smaller amounts, which creates an issue. Durban charges it’s residents to dispose of their trash, but is not required to pay the Solid Waste Authority any green box fees. Riley said the authority needs to address these issues with Durbin.

Additionally in his landfill report, McComb said new certified scales would be arriving in a few days. He also said there has been a problem with birds picking up trash and depositing it across the fence on a neighbor’s property, and he has to regularly detail workers to clean up the neighbor’s land. He said they recently removed 42 bags of trash from that neighbor’s land. There was some discussion, but no action on the possible use of netting to help prevent this.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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