By Meagan Nelson
Utah”s Legislature killed a bill last night that would have allowed for the creation of the Cedar Valley landfill. Utah”s governor is expected to call a special legislative session in about six weeks.
It is possible that the Cedar Valley landfill bill will be reopened during this special session. Otherwise, developers and residents with vested interest in the future of the landfill will be forced to wait another year for the legislature to reconvene.
Cedar Valley landfill, a 226-acre site located about five miles south of Fairfield and Eagle Mountain, was approved by the Utah Department of Environmental Quality and granted a class-five landfill permit.
Owned by Bear Construction Services Inc., the landfill will hold industrial waste, “stuff you would find at a construction site,” said Ralph Bohn, solid waste section manager of the Department of Environmental Quality.
“There is no lining required in Utah for this type of landfill,” said Bohn. “We believe the waste stream going into the landfill will not impact ground water.”
The Cedar Valley landfill will be held accountable for class four and five permit standards, ensuring tight control and safety over the landfill. Household waste and other hazardous materials will not be permitted in the landfill.
The lack of lining is a concern for residents living in surrounding areas. “However,” said Marcellus Barrus a resident of Eagle Mountain, “if it is done right, I don”t think I”ll have any concerns.”
“The current landfill we use has 200-plus years of dumping left,” Barrus added. “So why are we building a new one if we have one that suites our needs for years to come?” Barrus asked.
Disputing claims of water contamination, Bohn said, “from ground level to the water table is between 30 to 60 feet.” Bohn explained that the permit allows for the landfill to dig as close as five to 10 feet of the water table. “We don”t see a lot of potential impacts from this type of landfill: the water flows south and a little east,” Bohn said.
Another concern environmentalist and locals fear is dust, said Josh Elldredge on the Eagle Mountain Electric Village website.
In response, Bohn said, “building it [the landfill] will create dust and filling the it will create dust: other than that it shouldn”t be a problem – there will be a dust control plan implemented.”
Like any other public site the Cedar Valley landfill will have to meet the air quality standards established by the state.