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Road Department looking at landfill’s future

Lake County Roadmaster Rick DuMilieu recently discussed future concerns related to the future operations of the Lake County Landfill.

DuMilieu provided an overview of the landfill’s status during the Lake County Board of Commissioners’ Wednesday, June 4, meeting in Fort Rock.

The site, located about six miles north of Lakeview, is expected to be completely full within 4 to 5 years, DuMilieu said.

A new future pit will either need the installation of a special liner unit to keep waste from contaminating the ground or else be located on a higher elevation site.

These are requirements that would be necessary for the County to retain its small landfill exemption, which allows for a maximum of 20 tons of waste deposited per day.

The small landfill exemption is no longer applicable once an issue of contamination or a plume arises on site.  If either of the aforementioned occurs, the site is then governed under ‘subtitle D’ regulations, DuMilieu said, which typically apply to operations in larger communities.

With 100 acres of land available for use at the landfill site, a move to a higher elevation may require the County to look at a potential land trade with neighboring property owners, as allowed under state land use laws, he said.

DuMilieu said that, with three to five years, maximum, of capacity left at the current landfill site, the goal is to initiate plans as early on as possible to get a jump on the process.

A meeting is slated for August with the DEQ, and DuMilieu said he expects to have more concrete information on what will happen with the landfill by Jan. 1, 2015.

During the Commissioners’ meeting, DuMilieu noted that the county’s limited population couldn’t afford the cost of a liner installation.  The landfill was reportedly supposed to close in 2008, but an extension to its operations was granted by the DEQ.

A move to a higher elevation site would afford another 50 years of service, he said.  DuMilieu estimated the landfill’s current received load at between 4,800 and 5,000 tons per year.

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