Starke County Landfill Still Exuding Methane Around Perimeter; Solution to Follow

The county landfill is still exuding methane around the perimeter and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management is not happy about it. To fix the situation, Mike Maxwell from Weaver Boos Consultants told the commissioners that their best bet financially is to install vertical borings – essentially chimneys – in the landfill to help the gas vent vertically, cutting down on the methane exhaust around the perimeter.

Maxwell explained that the methane could be having a difficult time venting from the top because of this wet spring; wet dirt, grass and other plant-life could be to blame.

He said the landfill monitoring has been increased to a weekly basis rather than quarterly because of the levels of methane that have been detected. If the county decides to proceed with installing the borings, the work could be performed at a cost in the mid-$40,000 range, which would cover the cost of drilling the borings, bringing in the gravel, installing the vents, and surveying the methane levels monthly. Maxwell also recommended having a representative from Weaver Boos on hand for the work to ensure the quality is on par with IDEM’s requirements and to document the work before submitting it to IDEM, which he said would come at an additional cost up to $20,000.

Maxwell said he contacted several companies that could perform the work, but only two submitted bids for the work. County Attorney Marty Lucas had an issue with this and said that three vendors are required to submit bids for the commissioners to review before awarding the bid for the work. Maxwell said he would contact more vendors and return at their next meeting with a written proposal and exact bids.