Watch Out, Trash Haulers And Central Landfill! Regulation Enforcement Straight Ahead!

Johnston’s Mayor Polisena has gone ballistic over the serious odor which now regularly emanates from the state landfill. (It was noticeable even this morning on Route 95 – yes, 95 – just south of Exit 14 in a moving vehicle with all windows rolled up.) And who can blame him.
Sure, he’s gonna sue. But lawsuits can drag on and don’t usually produce an immediate solution. In the meantime, the stench of hydrogen sulfide and other gases would not be abated, property values would continue to drop and the town’s tax base would be eroded.
So he’s deploying a truly fearsome weapon.

Citing an intolerable invasion of “noxious” state landfill odors that have tormented residents for months, Mayor Joseph M. Polisena announced Thursday that his administration will use every tool it can to prod the landfill agency toward a remedy, from a lawsuit to potentially disruptive police inspections of inbound trash trucks. …
Polisena also said he had ordered the Police and Fire departments to conduct a comprehensive review of all town ordinances and regulations governing landfill operations and power generation there.
“It is our intent to fairly, and I repeat fairly, but aggressively, enforce any and all ordinances and regulations that are necessary to protect the health and welfare of our great town,” he said.
Later, Polisena made it clear that his administration’s response could involve police inspections of trucks as they leave the landfill …

Run for the hills! A municipality in one of the most regulation-heavy states is going to cut loose with all the regs in its arsenal!
By the way, the ProJo article cites the start date as well as what appears to be the cause of the odor.

Polisena and Conley said Broadrock [Renewables – the company charged with keeping gas at the landfill under control] staff removed a flaring mechanism in May, and data collected by the landfill shows that greater volumes of gases flowed into the atmosphere after that.

Yup, May – that was when I started noticing the gross odor on Route 295. (Again, even in a moving vehicle with windows closed, it was terrible. Can’t imagine trying to live, stationary, in that plume.)
Um, people, is it too obvious to suggest that we crank up the flaring mechanism again?

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11 years ago

Turning on the flaring mechanism to burn off the gasses uses common sense.
The General Assembly needs to form a commission, that recommends a study, followed by six months of hearings with testimony by the Dept. of Health and the D.E.M.; that concludes they needed to turn the burners back on in the first place. Your tax dollars at work.
Meanwhile, the state will continue to smell of rotten eggs.

11 years ago

Guy from DEM was on Buddy’s radio show Friday. It’s not as simple as “turning up the flares.”
For one, there may not be enough- the landfill’s action plan for this event, required by DEM, covers the installation of more. Also, the recent rains filled up some of the collection wells, which is the same thing that happened with the 2010 floods. And after the floods, came all of the flood debris- so for months afterwards, the landfill was receiving considerably more trash than it normally would in the same time-frame, with gas wells full of water.
I’m actually surprised the smell took so long to manifest.
DEM dude says the wells are getting pumped out, more are being installed, and more flares are scheduled. In addition, more capping material is being spread.

11 years ago

It seems dangerous and short-sighted for all of our trash to go into one place… I would rather pay a few dollars more a month to have the compostables, flammables, and recyclables separated and disposed of in a more responsible way.

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