Napanee residents concerned by release of leachate at Richmond Landfill

Click to play video: 'Waste Management releases thousands of litres of Richmond landfill leachate into the environment.'
Waste Management releases thousands of litres of Richmond landfill leachate into the environment.
Leachate from Richmond landfill site released into the environment concerns Napanee residents – Jan 28, 2020

Leachate, or the liquid the runs off of garbage, from the Richmond Landfill on Beechwood Road in Napanee is usually hauled to the Napanee Waste Water Treatment Plant.

But that wasn’t the case on Jan. 14.

A letter on Jan. 20 from Waste Management, which oversees the leachate disposal, informed residents of “a landfill leachate release within the site boundaries.”

On the day of the release, the leachate was supposed to be deposited in a storage pond on the landfill property.

A memorandum from BluMetric Environmental Inc., Waste Management’s environmental consultant, states the Waste Water Treatment Plant wasn’t accepting leachate that day “due to high rains over the weekend.”

The memo says about 3,500 gallons were spilled onto a wooded area on the property. (Waste Management was unable to verify to Global Kingston if those are Imperial or U.S. gallons. 3,500 U.S. gallons is just over 13,000 litres, Imperial gallons convert to just under 16,000 litres.)

Story continues below advertisement

It was a concerning revelation for Ian Munro, the chair of concerned citizens committee of Tyendinaga and Environs.

“It’s near the headwaters of the Moira Creek,” Munro told Global Kingston.

Munro has serious concerns about the leachate dumping.

“Potentially, it could take toxins from the landfill literally into the backyards or even the wells of people along that creek.”

Munro says farms, livestock and wildlife could be impacted as well.

Jamie Hopper has lived a couple of kilometres from the landfill for 25 years.

He says he has concerns about the leachate impacting his water at his rural home.

“We’re on a well, that’s my concern,” Hopper says. “You’ve got to worry about that.”

Waste Management’s communications manager Jessica Kropf says they are currently investigating the decision to release the leachate and they aren’t using the storage pond until they are given clearance by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

Story continues below advertisement

Munro says the group he chairs has concerns about the storage pond used by Waste Management as a back up when the company can’t deliver the leachate to the wastewater treatment plant.

“Based on the knowledge of our hydrogeologist, they should not be doing this because he is convinced the temporary storage lagoon is leaking.”

Kropf says Waste Management is working with the Ministry of Environment to develop an action plan “to address leachate volumes during rain events to ensure a situation like the Jan. 14 event doesn’t occur again.”

Residents will also be waiting to see results from water samples at the release point and downstream from it taken by BluMetric Environmental.

Those samples were taken on Jan. 16 and sent to BV Laboratories of Mississauga, Ont.

The memo by BluMetric’s senior hydrologist says “rush analyses were requested”

Kropf says they don’t have a firm date as to when they will get the lab results.

Sponsored content