NEWBURYPORT — It’s only on paper, but the state attorney general’s office and New Ventures LLC, the company that owns the troubled Crow Lane landfill, have agreed on a clean-up solution.
In late April, the City of Newburyport went to court seeking a contempt citation against the Everett company. Lawyers for the city argued that the company had not effectively closed the landfill pursuant to past court-sanctioned agreements. The city also stated that noxious odors coming from the site were a hazard to the health of the residents who live near the landfill.
The court stayed the contempt citation and instead urged the parties to agree to, and propose an order, that would result in necessary repairs.
The two sides were given 30 days to come up with an solution — and they have.
Suffolk Superior Court officials released an agreement yesterday requiring that New Ventures respond to a checklist of actions. The company signed the agreement, saying it would.
A key requirement is as follows: “Not later than 30 days from the date of this order, New Ventures shall perform all repairs and corrective work necessary for the landfill gas control system to operate in full compliance” of final judgment of the court.
The agreement states that the company must install a digital gas flow and flare temperature recorder and a programmable Logic Controller unit on the enclosed flare skid system to operate the flare system components — “as had previously been recommended by its consultant, Blue Granite.”
Residents and city engineers have stated that a major problem at the landfill is that the flare is constantly going out, and is thus ineffective at burning off noxious gas.
In another directive, the company within 14 days of the order “must inspect the landfill cap to determine if there are areas of the cap that may be leaking landfill gas.”
In a related directive, the company within seven days must submit “a scope of work” for state DEP approval for inspection and balancing of the landfill gas control system. The agreement appears to call for close monitoring. It states, “For all work and activity directed ... at the site, New Ventures shall provide MassDEP with two business days’ notice before undertaking work or activity on the site.”
The directive, if carried out, could be an answer to concerns of residents who have been affected by irritating odors.
But the agreement states that “MassDEP may extend the time for performance for any requirement of this order for any event that may be a “Force Majeure” event. The Force Majeure is defined as “any event or series of events arising from causes beyond the control of New Ventures.”
However, “Normal inclement weather, financial hardship or ... increased expenses associated with the performance shall not be considered Force Majeure events.”