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New interpretation of landfill laws could cost Uinta County millions

Posted: Tuesday, Sep 24th, 2013


A new interpretation of House Bills 0065 and 0066, pertaining to landfill usage, could end up costing Uinta County a lot of money if waste from the Bridger Valley Landfill needs to be transported to Rock Springs. County officials are meeting with state officials later this month to try to resolve the matter. (FILE PHOTO)


EVANSTON – A new interpretation of municipal solid waste (MSW) and construction and demolition (CD) waste by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ), Solid and Hazardous Waste Division may cost Uinta County millions of dollars.

With the recent retirements of both John Corra, director of the Air Quality Division of the WDEQ, and Carl Anderson, administrator of Solid and Hazardous Waste Division of the WDEQ, a new interpretation of recent legislation is emerging that will affect landfills in the Bridger Valley and Evanston as well as surrounding counties.

That new interpretation folds MSW and CD waste into one classification rather than two, reversing the primary interpretation used up to this point.

On Sept. 12, County Commissioner Craig Welling called a meeting to discuss the problems this new interpretation will cause for local area landfills. Lumping both types of waste into one classification could cost Uinta County millions of dollars in additional operating costs for Evanston Landfill No. 2 and potentially cost the state and county hundreds of thousands of dollars to fill an existing waste cell at the Bridger Valley Landfill with material other than CD waste.

Attending that meeting were Sen. Stan Cooper, Sen. Paul Barnard, Rep. Allen Jaggi, Evanston Landfill Operations Manager Dan Robinson, Landfill Coordinator Clay Baird, Lincoln County Landfill Coordinator Mary Crosby, Uinta County Public Works Director Sam Hatch, Uinta County Clerk Lana Wilcox and Uinta County Attorney Dean Stout, along with all three Uinta County commissioners.

The topic of discussion at the meeting was House Bills 0065 and 0066. These pieces of legislation, because of the language used in them, are the basis for the new interpretation of solid waste by the WDEQ.

“That was not our interpretation of the legislation,” Cooper said.

In a letter to Cooper, Baird is quoted as saying, “We expressed concern that House Bill 0065 and 0066 legislation was being interpreted by WDEQ/SHWD in conflict with previous interpretations of municipal solid waste and construction and demolition handling in the state, and that the new interpretation was onerous, if not punitive.”

Two key items are affected by the interpretation: To qualify for funding participation by the state with the Bridger Valley transfer station, all waste at that landfill would have to cease as soon as the transfer station becomes available. And since the Evanston Landfill No. 2 is not a lined facility, it will not qualify as a regional landfill and will not be able to accept waste from the Bridger Valley Landfill.

That would mean all waste from the Bridger Valley facility would have to be transported to Rock Springs and the costs of transport and use of the Rock Springs facility would fall to Uinta County with little help from the WDEQ.

If the new interpretation is enforced, it will nullify the Uinta County operational plan under current permits and the Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan.

For the complete article see the 09-24-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 09-24-2013 paper.











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