Cabarrus forum will discuss landfill issues

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

CONCORD ó The Cabarrus County Solid Waste Department will hold a public meeting Monday to share information about the closed unit at the county landfill. The department has analyzed the unit to determine whether materials that have leached out of the landfill may have contaminated groundwater.
The public meeting will be held 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Board of Commissioners Room in the Cabarrus County Governmental Center, 65 Church St.
At the question-and-answer forum, residents can review the results of the study, corrective measures, ongoing monitoring, potential remedies for associated problems and details on how this relates to the community at-large.
The department released these questions and answers:
Q: What is landfill groundwater contamination?
A: Over time, materials within an unlined landfill can leach into the surrounding ground, causing several challenges. Challenges include the potential for contaminant levels that may exceed North Carolina’s groundwater limits and potential off-site migration of contaminants. So, it is important to monitor the groundwater surrounding a closed landfill closely for any potential contamination and remedy any issues immediately.
Q: What is involved in an assessment of corrective measures?A: The assessment of corrective measures includes an analysis of the effectiveness of potential remedies. A remedy is chosen based on the ability to meet certain criteria, including: reliability, ease of implementation, impacts, safety, control, time and cost effectiveness.
Q: What ongoing monitoring activities has the department initiated?
A: The Cabarrus County Solid Waste Department takes the monitoring of the closed landfill very seriously. Groundwater is sampled semi-annually to monitor contaminant concentrations and potential off-site migration.
Q: If there is any contamination, how will that be resolved?A: Low-level groundwater contamination is limited to within the landfill property boundaries. Because of the low levels of contaminants and limited extent of migration, the current remediation plan will likely include injecting a material into the bedrock to consume the bacteria and monitoring natural attenuation of the groundwater contaminants, which is a process of converting chlorinated solvents into carbon dioxide.
Q: How does the closed landfill affect the community?
A: There is no risk of public exposure to groundwater contamination at the closed landfill because of public access limitations, the depth of groundwater and the limited extent of contamination. There are no groundwater users within 1,000 feet of the landfill area.
The report is available for viewing online at The report also can be viewed at the county manager’s office in the Government Center or the landfill office at 4441 Irish Potato Road. For more information, contact Rick Payne at 704-920-2955.