NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 15, 2013

State: progress made on landfill odors

NEWBURYPORT — State officials with a mandate to keep local leaders informed about the closing of the Crow Lane landfill say that progress is being made and regular inspection visits are occurring.

Susan Ruch, deputy regional director of the northeast region office of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, recently updated local stakeholders about efforts to close the troubled facility, which is owned by the privately-held firm New Ventures LLC.

For years, the stench coming from the enormous mound of capped demolition debris has infiltrated neighborhoods in the Crow Lane/Low Street area, causing nausea and headaches in extreme situations. Now that the landfill has been capped, the state and city are trying to eliminate the odors and attempting to make sure that the equipment designed to control gasses function properly.

Ruch said that over the past month, private engineers have continued their work on the landfill gas system and flare.

On Oct. 25, Blue Granite installed a cellular auto-dialer system. Her memo said, “The purpose of the auto-dialer is for an automatic message to be sent if the flare shuts off.”

But she added, “The auto-dialer unit appeared to be defective and the unit was removed and sent back to the manufacturer for evaluation and replacement.”

On Oct. 28, engineers installed a new thermocouple unit (which measures the flare’s operational temperature.) On Tuesday, the new auto-dialer was made operational for testing purposes.

Engineers who designed and built the flare will review the condition of the flame in coming days, she said.

Officials of MassDEP say they have been regularly monitoring the landfill, and state engineers will be be on site next week to check the effectiveness of the new auto-dialer system there.

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