Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.
Post Office Box 1070
Frankfort, Kentucky 40602
(502) 875-2428 phone (502) 875-2845 fax
May 17, 2004
Ron D. Gruzesky, P.E.
Division of Waste Management
14 Reilly Road
Frankfort, KY 40601
Re: Expansion of WMK Outer Loop Landfill
APE20000002 / LC2MOHX2
Permit No. 056-00028 / AI#2257
These comments are submitted by the Kentucky Resources Council concerning the draft construction and operation permit for an expansion of the Outer Loop Recycling and Disposal Facility.
KRC does not oppose the expansion of the WMK Outer Loop facility within the current property boundaries and buffer zone. KRC does, however, have several concerns regarding the sufficiency of the groundwater monitoring protocols, which we would request be addressed through strengthening of the conditions on issuance of the final permit.
KRC?s specific comments are as follows:
1. This permitting action is occurring at a time when the facility is in the groundwater assessment and remedial action phase of investigating elevated levels of pollutants of concern from the facility. KRC has, under separate cover, submitted comments expressing concern that the proposed remedial actions suggested in the Groundwater Assessment Report are insufficient, since they rely on continued operation of a pump and treat system, making the remedy effective only as an interim matter rather than a permanent solution. The likely source of the contamination is migration from older, unlined or incompletely-lined cells, and source removal or other controls to prevent further migration of leachate from the sources is warranted rather than simply treating the leachate once it has migrated.
2. KRC has also suggested that water quality monitoring in stream above and below the discharge from the underdrain system, for a full range of organic parameters, is warranted in order to assure that the wastewater is being effectively treated. The GAR report reflects that the discharge is contaminated with leachate, and as such, compliance with all solid waste environmental performance standards should be demonstrated by up and down- instream monitoring.
3. Groundwater monitoring must be conducted quarterly and for the full range of chemical parameters under 401 KAR 48:300 Section 11. The presence of contamination in the monitoring system makes this facility ineligible for any abridged monitoring frequency or parameter list.
4. The spacing of the groundwater monitoring wells and piezometers does not appear sufficiently close to assure that the well network can timely or effectively detect migration of contaminants, particularly those that do not necessarily travel with the prevailing gradient. The applicant must demonstrate the effective zone of capture for those wells and justify how the proposed spacing will assure identification of any migration of gas or aqueous-phase contaminants from each unit. The use of a handful of wells for a facility that spans almost 800 acres seems grossly inadequate to the task of demonstrating liner and leachate collection integrity and early identification of leachate outbreaks from a particular unit.
5. The groundwater monitoring must be sufficient to allow detection of contamination from each unit and to enable the agency and permittee to determine whether the sample values are above ambient background. The spacing and location of wells must also be sufficient to demonstrate that, throughout the facility, the inward gradient is being maintained, and monitoring wells sufficient to detect any failure in the maintenance of the gradient are needed.
6. It is unclear whether the applicant intends for the groundwater collected from the underdrain system to be collected in sediment structures or to be sent to the treatment system. Obviously, since the underdrain system is receiving discharge with elevated pollutants of concern, diversion to sediment structures is insufficient and treatment is needed prior to commingling with stormwater.
7. The reliance on an artificially-induced gradient presupposes permanent maintenance of a pump and treat system. The closure and post-closure bond must be adjusted to reflect this perpetual maintenance cost. The applicant must explain, if the artificially-induced gradient fails or is terminated, what will be the outcome in terms of impact on the underdrain, liner and leachate collection systems.
8. Background values, utilizing upgradient wells and statistical comparison of the historic values from each of the wells, must be used in order to provide a benchmark for early identification of sampling values potentially indicative of leachate migration.
9. In the past, WMK has inadvertently accepted hazardous waste from generators, and those wastes have not always been removed. In one such case, KRC recalls that the facility was allowed to leave the hazardous wastes in place in return for an agreement to sample at a set frequency for certain chemical parameters, including dioxins and furans. The groundwater monitoring well system and testing frequency and parameters must be adjusted to assure that these obligations are carried forward and that the cell(s) in which the wastes
are disposed has monitoring sufficient to allow timely detection of migration of any of these constituent parameters.
In sum, while KRC does not oppose the expansion of the WMK facility, KRC is very concerned that the groundwater monitoring system be sufficient to allow for timely identification of and response to the presence of contaminants indicating a failure of containment of the waste.
Thank you for your consideration of these comments.