DEQ Spokesman Explains Continuing Odor at Sussex Landfill

"This message is being provided as a courtesy to concerned citizens regarding actions being taken at the Atlantic Waste Landfill, operated by Waste Management, in Sussex County.

DEQ staff met with Waste Management staff at our Piedmont Regional Office on Wednesday, January 18 to discuss the continued odor issues. It appears the continue odors are related to the Phase 4 area that was capped with an approximate 10 foot layer of clay, whereas the side slope areas of Phases 1 and 2 were capped with a synthetic liner, due to concerns of settlement clay was used in the Phase 4 area rather than a synthetic liner. However, the clay cap has not been effective in controlling odors (as you all know). This may be a result of the slope liner of Phases 1 and 2 creating a chimney effect. Installation of a synthetic liner in the Phase 4 area should reduce or eliminate the chimney effect and along with the installation of additional gas collection wells, allow better collection of the odor landfill gas.

WM has stated they will begin installing additional gas collection wells in this area starting in February following by the installation of a synthetic liner. As the liner is still in the design process we do not have a confirmed timetable on the liner installation. However, all work will be completed in 2017. Even with the installation of the Phase 4 synthetic cap and additional wells, there is no guarantee odors will be eliminated. We won’t truly know until we get to that point, similar to the previous work.

However, please understand, WM has stated their commitment to resolving the issue and will continue to implement corrective actions, as necessary, until resolution is achieved. DEQ will also continue to provide regulatory oversight to ensure we get to resolution.

I will provide another update once we get a confirmed timeline on the Phase 4 liner installation and any other proposed corrective actions."