Pocahontas County Solid Waste Authority Questions Landfill Inspection Report

At the Pocahontas County Solid Waste Authority’s March 27th meeting, Chairman, Ed Riley, said that despite the Landfill Inspector’s assurance at the time he did the inspection, that everything looked fine, when the inspection report was received, four violations were cited.

These included issues with water seep management, excess mercury, ammonia nitrogen, fluorides, and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD,) being found in water samples. There were also problems found with the working face of the landfill cell being too large. Riley, and Landfill Manager Chris McComb questioned the accuracy of the new testing procedures that were used. They suggested that the testing company used new limits, and the samples or equipment they used might have been incorrect or contaminated.

While they have an option of appealing the fines, which could be from $8,000 to $10,000 per violation, that might be a waste of time and effort. McComb said even the testing company employees were unable to explain their process or the results, so he has no way to even begin to figure out how to correct some of these violations. Riley said the results of the new tests show many times the amounts of some of these pollutants, especially the Mercury, than have ever been found by the previous testing procedures.

Mary Clendenen reported on the Authority’s February financial statement. She said there were no major changes in February. There is $357,680 in unrestricted funds available, but that will decrease as the end of the fiscal year approaches. She said there was a loss of $30,710 in February, with normal recycling losing $569,05 and Tire recycling losing $1589.85. The recycling of white goods did not experience and loss or gain in February. She said the authority is on track for the fiscal year, with 66% of the budget spent.

Clendenen also reported that the state’s financial audit of the Solid Waste Authority has been completed, and that results were “clean.”

At this meeting, there was also a public meeting held where the public was invited to address the members about Green Box fees, however no one in attendance wished to speak out on this. Riley said the public still has until April 8th to send comments about Green Box fees to the Solid Waste Authority’s office.

It was also announced that at 11 am on Friday, April 12th, there will be a meeting with at least some of the County Commissioners; representatives of the West Virginia Department of the Environment (WVDEP;) Jacob Meck of Allegheny Disposal; and Mark Holstine of the State Solid Waste Authority. The purpose of this meeting is for the WVDEP representatives explain and answer questions about landfill closure and post closure requirements.

Riley said he has a concern that if the County Commission buys the current landfill, they should know that as the owner of it, they will be responsible to cover the annual post closure costs and inspections there for at least 30 years. They will need to budget money each year for those costs.  Both Riley and Member David McLaughlin pointed out that the Solid Waste Authority will be unable to pay those post closure costs and still be able to afford operating a solid waste program in the county. McLaughlin added that the commission will also need to financially help the Solid Waste Authority with the ongoing expenses of operating a solid waste program, because without the income now generated by the tipping fee at the landfill, there will be little revenue coming to the authority once the landfill is closed. He said it will also be much more expensive to send trash to another landfill in another county.


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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