Engineering agreement to assist with EPA landfill snags
Posted: 11/Apr/2018


 
Jacksonville officials are hoping a new engineering service agreement will help the city get past recent snags that have kept the city tied to its landfill lease.

Aldermen approved during Monday’s city council meeting a proposal to get engineering services from Fehr-Graham Engineering and Environmental — services including working to clear up issues the Environmental Protection Agency has with the former Jacksonville Landfill.

“We’re continuing to do post-closure work at the landfill and we just felt it was time to seek Fehr-Graham’s expertise,” Jacksonville Mayor Andy Ezard said. “They’re going to kind of guide us through what to do and hopefully we’ll be able to close it this year.”

Under new EPA restrictions and based on the latest test results on the 80-acre parcel of land, the possibility of leachate — or liquid runoff — at the site means that the landfill will remain the city’s responsibility until the issues are resolved.

The engineering agreement, at a cost not to exceed $33,000, will allow Joel Zirkle of Fehr-Graham to help the city comply with EPA regulations.

The landfill, which was closed by a state mandate around 20 years ago despite the city’s attempt to keep it open, is on a lease that costs the city around $100,000 annually. Since its closure, the city has installed a cover system designed to minimize infiltration and erosion, but tests still come back just shy of what the city needs to be free of the property.

Zirkle was recommended to the city by legislative consultant Jeff Torricelli, who was familiar with Fehr-Graham’s success in helping other municipalities with similar problems. While there is no guarantee that everything that needs to be done can be completed this year, the city hopes to act quickly to avoid spending any further funds on the site, Ezard said.

“We want to get out quickly,” he said at Monday’s meeting. “We all don’t want to continue paying a lease of $100,000 a year for that land. The landowner wants it, we want the landowner to have it and we want to close.”
By Nick Draper