Starke County Landfill Methane Levels Rising; Solution to Be Determined

The Starke County Commissioners this week approved a motion to authorize a representative of Weaver Boos Consultants to contact the Indiana Department of Environmental Management in the hopes of revising their remediation plan regarding the county landfill.

Brian Horvath presented the commissioners with a report detailing the results of the company’s groundwater monitoring at the landfill, and said nothing stood out too much. While he has no major concerns, he did note that the gas monitoring did show some upward trends in methane levels; anything more than five percent methane is potentially explosive, and some areas in the landfill were as high as 10 percent.

IDEM sent the county a letter on Jan. 28 explaining that corrective actions must be implemented within 60 days, giving the county a deadline of around March 16 to fix the issues. Horvath told the commissioners that a number of options are available – some more expensive than others.

He explained the county could choose to implement gravel columns in the areas affected by the high levels of methane, and if that does not solve the problem, the county would have the option of adding a gravel trench as well. While these solutions are not cheap, Horvath said something must be done to appease IDEM.

The commissioners approved a motion to allow Horvath to write a letter to IDEM proposing a revision of the mediation plan that would allow the county to use shallower trenches at a lower cost, implement gravel columns, and if needed, install a 20-foot deep trench in the affected area.