Usually these meetings consist of a list of steps Waste Management has taken to reduce emissions and odor from the landfill -- always failed steps, as it turns out. (Have you driven past the dump lately? Pee-yoo!) Then dump managers tell us what they plan to do in the next few months to produce more odor, like open up old cells either to add additional waste or to install new wells, which are supposed to (but never do) reduce odors.
One item we'd love to see on the agenda is the result of the year-long odor survey undertaken by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in 2017. Specially trained members of DEQ's staff visited the dump and surrounding neighborhood several times during the year to measure the presence and intensity of odors.
Once those measurements are gathered, staff analysts at a DEQ lab must examine the data with respect to other factors such as local wind patterns, according to Claudia Davis of DEQ's Air Quality division. DEQ will also contact Riverbend for its input. If DEQ staff then believes the existing odor might amount to a nuisance, it forwards its information to a Nuisance Odor Panel comprised of DEQ senior or executive managers who will decide whether to issue Riverbend a "Notice of Suspected Nuisance."
The Panel is supposed to issue its evaluation within three weeks after receiving the request for review. If the Panel finds a possible nuisance, DEQ will ask Riverbend to enter into a "best practices" agreement to reduce odors.
This has always been the sticking point with odors at Riverbend: whether there are "practices" Waste Management can implement that would reduce the smell. There's one obvious solution, of course: Stop taking waste that smells!
Please come to the meeting to share your opinions with Waste Management!