DEQ draft rule language worries landfill operators

Oct 18, 2013

Park County closed Powell's landfill to comply with DEQ regulations.
Credit Rebecca Martinez / Wyoming Public Radio

Wyoming counties are concerned about confusing language the state's Department of Environmental Quality has used in draft rules guiding the closure and relocation of leaking landfills.

Municipal Solid Waste – or MSW – is wet household and industrial garbage that could potentially leak into groundwater… But most construction and demolition waste – or C and D – is inert, and not a threat to aquifers, so it can be disposed of more cheaply – for now.  Waste managers in Uinta, Lincoln and Park Counties say the DEQ’s draft rules don’t make a distinction, which would make C-and-D more costly to get rid of.

Alan Edwards is the acting director for the DEQ’s solid waste division. He says the Legislature’s Joint Minerals Committee seemed to understand the need for a distinction, and Edwards is confident the final rules will reflect that, while adhering to strict environmental standards.

“Local operators have to make sure that all the C & D waste is properly screened, and that you’re getting what is truly C & D waste disposed in there, as opposed to getting some of your other domestic garbage in there,” says Edwards.

The DEQ is accepting public comment on the rules, and hosting public meetings across the state through the end of the month. 

From the DEQ:

Copies of the draft rules can be picked up at any of the public meetings and upon request from the Department of Environmental Quality, Solid and Hazardous Waste Division at (307) 777-7752 or   The public is invited to attend any or all of the following meetings:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
1 - 3 P.M.
Park County Court House
1002 Sheridan Avenue
Alternate EOC Room (Basement of the Courthouse Addition)
Cody, WY

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
1 - 3 P.M.
Campbell County Public Library
Pioneer Room
2101 S 4-J Rd.
Gillette, WY

Thursday, October 24, 2013
1 - 3 P.M.
Herschler Building, 122 W 25th St.
Room 1699
Cheyenne, WY