What started as a brief update for the county commission saw swift action taken once questions were raised why a report on the Grady Road Landfill’s remaining capacity wasn’t completed for a summer deadline.
County Manager Matt Denton told the board during their recent retreat session in a brief update on the Remaining Capacity Report that it was due July 1, and a Smith Gardner consultant on behalf of Waste Industries had yet to turn them in as of Nov. 28.
Denton explained that figures were needed by County Engineeer Ronnie Woods for the report to be completed and returned to the state.
He added the state Environmental Protection Division sent a Nov. 6 letter seeking the report by Nov. 20 to “avoid further enforcement action.”
Denton said in a follow up e-mail he wasn’t sure what sanctions the county might face for not having the report completed by the latest deadline.
The report had been due at the beginning of the fiscal year for the county on July 1 as required both by EPD regulations and via the contract with Waste Industries who operates the landfill.
Denton told commissioners about the missing report during the Board of Commissioner’s retreat held in a three-hour session on Tuesday, Nov. 28.
“It turns out that thing (the report,) we’re not in compliance. Ronnie Wood is working on that, and Waste Industries consultant was considerably late in getting back with the information that we needed,” Denton said to commissioners during the session.
In follow-up conversations last week on Nov. 30, Denton had yet to call upon EPD to explain the issue.
Kevin Chambers, a spokesman for the EPD, explained that by their regulations the report is due on July 1, and the letter went out on Nov. 6 seeking to get the report in only as a reminder.
Since the report hasn’t been turned in yet, Chambers expected an additional reminder letter to be sent on to the county.
No sanctions will be levied against the county for being late on the report.
However, Chambers said the report is an important document for the state to have in their possession, allowing the EPD to see an overall picture of how much capacity is left around the state.
When asked about the delay in the report, Waste Industries George Gibbons said the matter was over a discrepancy between his consultant and Woods, and then later in the day produced the report in an e-mail to both this reporter and Denton.
He said the report is one required by the state to be submitted annually, but they also receive the same numbers on a quarterly basis.
The report specifically keeps track from year to year of how much capacity — or airpsace — remains in the Grady Road Landfill, still at 26 years with an at-capacity and moving to the closing phases in February 2043.
That estimate has increased from 2016’s reported closure date if February 2042.
Remaining airspace at the landfill is measured by how much trash has already been covered and compacted down and the unused and unopened cells on the county’s property.
Gibbons said that capacity is measured in cubic feet, and that the reason for no change in the number of years left has to do with how much the trash has settled over time, since operations first began in the 1990s.
The late report was the newest item the commission questioned in the past weeks involving the Grady Road Landfill. Gibbons was previously before the board at the beginning of November answering questions over why the commission and administering hadn’t been informed about an October ad in the Standard Journal reporting increased Molybdenum levels from the Landfill’s leachate that is processed at the Cedartown Wastewater Treament facility. County Attorney Brad McFall read a statement on behalf of commissioners during their retreat last week on Nov. 28, citing more information to come.
“The board met last night (Nov. 27) for 4 hours, and we conducted a fairly exhaustive review of items and issues concerning the board and the public, and we’ll narrow those down to a streamlined punch list and meet with representatives of the company that runs the landfill,” McFall said.