By Alex Bridges
WOODSTOCK -- A project in Shenandoah County aimed at helping the environment is nearing completion.
Brian Stuver, a representative with Joyce Engineering, gave the Board of Supervisors an update on the landfill gas project during its meeting Tuesday. The initiative will eventually funnel gases released by the closed and existing landfill to a facility that destroys the emissions.
"The gas collection system right now is a voluntary system," Stuver explained. "With the air permit that the facility does have, you'll get a threshold that's eventually tripped that requires the installation of a system.
"It is to control the landfill gas at the facility," Stuver added. "There has been some migration from the old landfill area ... That's not uncommon with an online landfill so this will help any of the migration that's going on."
Stuver noted that Brad Dellinger, operations manager for the county landfill, and his staff began working on the project about a year ago and put in a significant portion of the system. Staff retirements slowed down the work somewhat but more contractors, some local, were brought in to complete the work.
"Brad and his guys have been helping out along the way; they've been a tremendous help," Stuver said.
Dellinger and his staff helped save the county at least $150,000 in installation costs by doing work upfront and putting in half the system, Stuver said. That assistance continues, he said.
A significant amount of work on the project has been done in the past two weeks, Stuver said. This included excavation and the installation of about 2,300 feet of pipe last week, he said. This completed the work on the area of the landfill long since closed.
With the last of the pipes likely being laid in the next week or so, Stuver said he expects initial start up of the system to take place at the end of this month or the beginning of November. Stuver noted that fine-tuning of the system should take 30-60 days while the optimal amount of gas is collected.
Discussions about any beneficial uses for the gases collected are ongoing. No decisions would be made on how they can use the gas until they determine the rate of flow of the emissions from both the old and online landfill areas, Stuver explained.
In response to a question from board Chairman Conrad Helsley, Stuver said that around the first of the year the engineers should be able to tell county officials what the landfill can produce, confirming and comparing data taken in the initial testing with the information collected from the system.
Also at the meeting, supervisors:
- Held a public hearing on a proposal to grant a 20-foot, utility easement to Shenandoah Telephone Company on county property along Landfill Road in Edinburg for the installation of a telephone cable. No one spoke during the public hearing.
- Held a public hearing on a proposed ordinance to designate property owned by the Edinburg Heritage Foundation Inc. as exempt from real estate taxes. No one spoke at the public hearing. The property was assessed a 2013 value of $284,800 with a tax of $1,537.92.
- Reappointed Leon Smith and Amy Voss-Devito to the Planning Commission; appointed Coe Sherrard and Jane Beasley to the Tourism Council; appointed Denise Silvious-Dellinger and Rick Moomaw to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or firstname.lastname@example.org