Landfill? Never mind putting it in Marana - The Explorer: Editorials

Landfill? Never mind putting it in Marana

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Posted: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:15 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Not only does Mr. Henk misunderstand the facts, he avoids them to the extent that he must rely on his own hype.

Dr. Dennis Williams, hydrologist, founder and president of Geoscience Support Systems, found at least 34 documented cases of leakage through modern, double-lined landfill systems just in Southern California, with data on the new system still being quantified.

Daren Laine, Southwest Research Institute, authored a paper presenting the results of an investigation of 61 new or in-service geomembrane-lined waste storage facilities using the electrical leak location detection A total of 1,409 leaks (87 percent in the seams and 13 percent in the material) were located at the 61 sites; only three smaller sites showed no leaks.

Henk writes "…there will be no significant leaks because there will be no free liquids… on top of the liner system. There will really be nothing to leak out."

Sounds like British Petroleum hype. Natural decomposition produces liquid leachate when mixed household liquids wastes (alcohol, vinegar, shoe polish) then percolates downwards and can erode the liners. Leachate pipes get clogged by trash, silt, mud, microorganism growth; toxic chemicals can weaken the pipes." It's physically impossible to prevent all illegal liquids from entering your landfill.

Your widely praised clay cap and the clay layer in the soil that will "prevent" leachate reaching the aquifer, can erode over time; cracked by plant roots, from wildlife burrows, human activity, and sunlight can degrade the cap allowing rainfall penetration. Some organic chemicals can degrade the clay layers or diffuse through them.

"Our aquifer will never be adversely affected by waste."

You're not a BP talking head, you're 'God.' Unless you've found the "Landfill Liner Fountain of Youth," you know liners degrade with age and all landfill liners will fail. The EPA states, "No liner, however, can keep all liquids out of the ground for all time. Eventually liners will either degrade, tear, or crack and will allow liquids to migrate out the unit."

The dump has been renamed the "Marana Modern Dry Landfill." Is that dry like a martini? Or dry like a sense of humor? Or is it a dry heat like H--- before It freezes over?

Your spin in the following paragraph necessitates its examination, segment-by-segment. I'm surprised you're not dizzy. Me? I'm a little queasy, but thanks for asking.

"The Marana Modern Dry Landfill will be safe and will bring a variety of benefits to the community."

Is safety why you have only barbed wire on two sides? Aren't nearby, un-annexed neighborhoods still part of the community?

"The long-term waste solution will be secured and will save residents time and money when compared to other options."

Are toxic clean-ups, contaminated wells, cancer clusters, lower property values other options?

"The Town of Marana will receive hundreds of thousands of dollars, as will the Marana Unified School District." At last. The carrot for this whole deal … you're paying off the town, and throwing in the kids for good measure. "Gaul-lee [sic intended]." You forgot stray dogs and cats, broken-down-drug-smuggling pack horses abandoned to starve in the desert, rescued pit bulls and Chihuahuas, the endangered shovelnose snake, and burrowing owl … How about a tax-deductible donation from the tipping fees for our numerous local animal rescue groups?

"And benefits such as community clean-up programs and free dump days will reduce wildcat dumping in the desert." To a wildcat dumper, Mr. Henk, every day is a "free dump day!" A piece of the tipping fees 'pie' might entice wildcatters to dump in your dump.

You wonder why we're trying to stop you from putting a landfill over our aquifer that's being recharged with CAP water Arizonans are paying for to the tune of $1.65 billion? Take your toys and play somewhere else that's safer. This is not a game or "SNL."

 

Janice Mitich lives in Picture Rocks.

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