Cedar Hills Regional Landfill meeting details gas, noise changes

May 28, 2013

By Peter Clark

In a quarterly community information meeting about the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill, members of the King County Solid Waste Division told those gathered that they have taken steps to correct noise and gas issues.

About 20 people attended the meeting in the King County Library Services building April 24 for the regular meeting in which the county hoped to continue a conversation with the community.

Victor Okereke, the engineering services manager for the Solid Waste Division, discussed the changes made in the landfill to respond to odor and gas complaints.

“We have made adjustments in the ways we work,” he said. “We have done a lot of work and it is working as well as we planned.”

He told the group that new probes were installed to assist with gas extraction to ensure fumes would not leave the area.

“They help us know when gas is moving towards the boundaries,” he said. To ensure that, the landfill is instituting a study of the probes’ effectiveness, measuring how well the new system keeps noxious gas contained. “Sometime by the end of the year, we will have those answers.”

Bill Lasby, health and environmental investigator with King County Public Health, backed up the findings.

“The key comment is that no gas is getting off that site that could affect people’s homes,” he said.

Okereke also presented to the gathered crowd operational changes made to soften decibel levels from the landfill. He pointed to a map that showed multiple sound probes around the perimeter of the site. He said that the division had taken into consideration how loud its machinery could be. Through insulation and correcting operation times, he said that they have rectified the problem.

“We’re monitoring noise in key locations, and major findings in the study shows that levels did not exceed limits,” he said. “We’re going to make additional efforts.”

Additionally, they discussed ground water that flows from the south end to the north end of the landfill. Surprisingly, since the water moves through an old polluted facility before reaching the landfill, natural degradation actually improves its quality.

“It takes a good amount of time for the groundwater to move from one end of the landfill to the other.” Cedar Hills Operations Engineer Laura Belt said. “It’s better when it leaves the site, in simple terms.”

Attendees asked a number of questions regarding the future results of gas and noise studies under way, but members from the Solid Waste Division could not give specific dates when those studies would be completed.

The King County employees said they would continue to hold community meetings and listen to concerns that were raised.

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2 Responses to “Cedar Hills Regional Landfill meeting details gas, noise changes”

  1. Anton J Anderson on June 29th, 2013 10:12 pm

    Cedar Hills Landfill,
    June 29 in the evening Cedar Hills Landfill was not in compliance with wash state or Federal clean air quality standards. The methane air around the landfill was extremely pungent with a thick odor. Wile trying to reach the Landfill I was informed that there were many others complaints. The odor was extremely irritating to both eyes and lungs. In my forty years of being a resident I have only come across such density of odor once. My concerns are continued and wonder if possible malfunction of the Bioengineering facility may be the cause of this odor. What safety procedures or installed if there is a malfunction and what are they.

  2. Issaquah Resident on October 30th, 2013 11:41 am

    It is October of 2013, and the smell has returned;

    I live next to Gilman Village, and three nights out of the past week, i have noticed a heavy odor that smells like a combination of olives, rich composted tree bark, and garbage, but also with distinctly toxic, bitter notes. This, Halloween Morning, I smelled it as I walked all the way from Old Issaquah to the West Side, and now it’s clinging to my clothing.

    I don’t mind discussing a solution, but i have a strong feeling that any pursuit of this issue will be met with obfuscation, distraction, inaction, and grinding bureaucratic hesitance.

    Nevertheless, I intend to start discussing this with my neighbors in order to strongly petition the City of Issaquah and/or Maple Valley to force action on this issue with the KCSWD that runs the Cedar Grove landfill.

    Address of ‘Cedar Hills’ landfill: 16645 228th Ave Se, Maple Valley, WA 98038

    This is right next to Cedar Grove composting, which has received multiple complaints relating to discharge of foul odors in the past, so the location is such that wind could easily carry odors into D/T Issaquah: http://www.issaquahpress.com/2010/05/25/south-issaquah-residents-seek-relief-from-odors/

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