- Loudon County, TN has approved a $166,000 matching grant request through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) to address issues at the defunct Poplar Springs Landfill. The matching 50% would come from a $430,000 closure fund, according to Mayor Buddy Bradshaw.
- Collectively, the money would support upgrading roads, drainage, coverage, and capping. The project would also include a 10-year monitoring program.
- A study completed in 2014 determined the residential wells were clean, though there were slightly elevated ammonia levels in one area and slightly raised nitrate in another, which were concluded to be agriculturally related, rather than from the landfill.
There have been speculations about groundwater pollution at the landfill for years. And a county-funded study, conducted by environmental law firm Luna Law Group of Nashville, identified potential liabilities that tally hundreds of thousands of dollars. The law firm will develop an aerial survey this spring to see if the landfill has unstable areas that are at risk for slides.
The county would rather pay now than pay later should groundwater contamination or other potential liabilities materialize from inadequate design or prevention measures. And they have been proactive in finding the financial means to secure the landfill and protect the community.
The potential for events like slides is not worth the risk, as one Virginia town discovered when failure of a cap caused landfill waste to slide out onto a road that had to be shut down for more than nine months as crews removed the massive buildup of debris.
"The point we have to consider first and foremost is public welfare and secondly, huge liabilities should a major slide event occur," Bradshaw said.