Environment

Republic Services pulls the plug on leachate aerosolization test program

 

This is a developing story. There will be updates as more information becomes available.

Leachate aerosolization, also known as “garbage juice in a snowblower” was not effective during a test program at a Republic Services landfill, Drew Isenhour, area president of Republic Services in North Carolina, confirmed to NCPW today. He said that the trial had been conducted “a while ago,” adding that “we have no plans for its future use or application.”

The controversial technology, which would become legal for wider use under House Bill 576, pumps leachate from landfills and sprays it into the air. The theory is the heavier, contaminated particles will fall within the landfill footprint and the benign particles will drift away. However, there are no independent, peer-reviewed studies that support its safety.

Landfill companies are interested in cheaper alternatives to collecting the leachate in tanks and trucking it offsite.

House Bill 576 was sponsored by Rep. Jimmy Dixon, a Republican from Duplin County. It required DEQ to approve the technology. Sen. Trudy Wade, a Guilford County Republican, strongly supported the bill. Last year, she received a $5,000 campaign contribution from the inventor of the system, Kelly Houston of Cornelius.

Although both chambers passed the bill, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed it on June 30. The measure is scheduled for a floor debate in the House on Thursday.

The NC Department of Environmental Quality had approved permits for a 90-day pilot program at three Republic-owned landfills and the Brickhaven mine. Duke Energy is disposing of coal ash at Brickhaven, near Moncure in Chatham County, where the materials are stored until it can be used in the manufacture of concrete. Charah, Inc. is managing the operation.

Cassie Gavin, director of government affairs at the North Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club said the failure of Republic’s test program should negate the legislation.  “There is no need to require DEQ to permit a technology that a key industry isn’t interested in using,” There’s no need for the bill.”

Charah has also proposed a field trial of an evaporation method, which is similar to aerosolization. However, DEQ has not yet approved a permit for that trial.

DEQ could not be reached immediately for comment.

On behalf of Republic, Isenhour gave a presentation to the legislature’s Environmental Review Commission about leachate aerosolization in February 2016. However, Isenhour told NCPW that the company did not advocate for HB 576.

Therese Vick, coal ash coordinator for the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, questioned who is behind House Bill 576: “Republic Industries,  the owner of many NC commercial landfills, says the technology doesn’t work. What is behind the legislative and agency push on this unproven technology?”

2 Comments


  1. Scott Cobourn

    August 22, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    The new Republican way. Poison our air and tell us it’s ok.

  2. Diane

    August 22, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Doesn’t Trydy a Wade own a garbage dump, landfill or trucking for garbage? She tried to pass a law to let garbage trucks leak several years ago. What us wrong with these flagrantly corrupt people? Do they think we’re stupid? They only care about their profits.

Check Also

DEQ required Dominion to pay $1.5 million for potential, actual damage from Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Dominion Energy paid more than $1.5 million to ...

Join Our Team

NC Policy Watch is hiring two new journalists to join our award-winning team. Click here for more information.  

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Trustees at Historically Black Colleges and Universities oppose the change over concerns that conser [...]

As part of our ongoing effort to inform North Carolinians about the state judiciary, Policy Watch is [...]

In testimony, the facts didn't always add up to the truth Kenneth Harrison III slouched in a ha [...]

Fourth Circuit ruling should offer protection in North Carolina WASHINGTON — Transgender teen Andrew [...]

There has never been a more urgent time for Congress to step up and pass a relief package that ackno [...]

In 2008, artist Shepard Fairey’s iconic image of then-Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obam [...]

The post The Postmaster always gives twice appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

As unemployment has climbed and household budgets have been stretched thinner and thinner, more fami [...]