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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Lee County Residents Have Had Enough - File Suit Against Republic Services

With the Rain and High Summer Temperatures
Came the Stench   
Lee County Residents Have Had Enough 
File Class Action Suit Against Republic Services

Waste products contained in a landfill produce gases and these gases are mostly methane and carbon dioxide. Peak production of these gases occur typically when the waste in the landfill has been buried approximately 5 to 7 years. A little math will reveal that gas production at Bishopville's landfill is well under way. 

Gas, any gas has a tendency to expand, filling in any available space. 

Since landfill's employ methods to inhibit gas from escaping, such as tightly compacting the waste and covering it with a layer of soil the gases which are lighter than air and follow the path of least resistance, tend to migrate horizontally under the ground to other areas including those areas outside the landfill. 

One landfill gas in particular, carbon dioxide, is denser than air and will collect in areas such as basements, poorly ventilated crawl spaces and other subsurface areas of homes located nearby. In sufficient quantities carbon dioxide can be harmful to humans.  

Moisture is a good thing for the production of gases in a landfill but too much moisture is a real headache for the owners and operators. The correct amount of moisture encourages the growth of needed bacteria and it (the moisture) in correct quantities actually transports nutrients and the bacteria to all areas inside a landfill. 

When heavy rainfall occurs, too much water infiltrates the landfill forcing the gases out. Landfills have tried to counter that problem by installing a system of wells and drains which collect and remove the gases as they seek the path of least resistance, but these systems become overwhelmed during periods of heavy rainfall. The result is the migration of landfill produced gases to areas outside of the landfill.

Temperature is also a factor in the decomposition of waste in a landfill and when temperatures during summer months reach into the high 90's and 100's, conditions inside landfill's achieve optimum  production levels. Reference

As the owners and operators of the landfill in Lee County know, building a landfill in close proximity to residential homes is proving to have been a bad idea. 

Officials at DHEC, the State's regulatory agency have come under attack for showing a tendency to protect the owners of the landfill.

Republic Services News Releases 

DHEC's 'Republic Services' Search Listing

DHEC's 'Lee County Landfill' Search Listing

The State, South Carolina's Homepage " one — not the landfill’s operator nor state regulators — has been able to clear the air, he says.

So Babb and several neighbors filed suit this summer in a case that is believed to be the first of its kind against the landfill and only the second such case in South Carolina.

Their class action lawsuit against Republic Services says powerful landfill odors are hurting property values and causing a general nuisance for people who live near the towering above-ground dump along Interstate 20..." Read full story

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