- Waste Management is placing a temporary halt on an application to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for a new leachate injection well in Broward County, according to the Sun Sentinel.
- The company already pipes leachate to a well in Broward. This newly proposed well would be located at Waste Management's Monarch Hill landfill more than 3,000 feet underground and could also accept leachate from other sources.
- The county's contract with Waste Management is set to end in December and all sides have tentatively decided to hold any decision about the well until a "long-term agreement" is negotiated.
The commissioners of Broward County and nearby Coconut Creek have previously expressed skepticism about the plan and local environmental groups have opposed it. One estimate put the amount of outside leachate being trucked in at two million gallons per day and concerns about potential water contamination were raised.
While numerous methods have been explored to make leachate as safe as possible for disposal it can still be hazardous if not properly stored. Last year, research from the U.S. Geological Survey showed that even treated leachate can include multiple "contaminants of emerging concern." Some in the industry have estimated that leachate management may account for up to 30% of landfill budgets as a result.
In some cases, particularly at older landfills, leachate can make its way into rivers and surrounding environments with detrimental effects. Though the majority of leachate may be getting properly treated and disposed all it takes are a few incidents of leakage to affect public opinion.