County plans for landfill expansion


By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Friday, November 17, 2017

With the Pasquotank landfill running out of room for construction and demolition debris, county has begun preparing its C&D hill for expansion.

Earlier this week, Pasquotank commissioners approved a recommendation from county staff and consultant Pat McDowell to allow landfill operator Stevenson Sand, of Elizabeth City, to start preparing another 6.5 acres to support C&D material.

Commissioners approved seeking a state permit to expand the landfill this summer. The current C&D hill covers about 15 acres, and the county's plan is to get approval to use another 23 acres for debris; that should provide enough space for 40 years, McDowell said earlier this year.

McDowell told commissioners Monday that the state is still going through a public comment period before it will consider approving the county's expansion permit. However, he said there has been no opposition so far and the C&D hill's current acreage is almost full. Notably, the county's current permit doesn't allow the hill to be taller than 125 feet; that height restriction would remain if the expansion is approved.

With no public opposition and state approval likely, McDowell asked commissioners to allow the landfill to start working on expansion before the permit is approved.

Supporting that recommendation, County Manager Rodney Bunch said that, if there are objections to the hill's expansion, the county would pause the work to resolve those concerns.

Following commissioners' approval, Pasquotank Solid Waste Director Brad Gardner said the county needs the expansion permit to place C&D debris on the new acreage, but not to prepare those acres for debris. That puts the county on safe ground if there's a delay in the permit, handled through the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality Division of Solid Waste, he explained.

Gardner also explained the county's plan is to start excavating clay from “borrow pits” around the hill. That clay, about six to eight feet underground, will be used to create a sturdy base for the hill and prevent leachate from debris from seeping through and contaminating ground water, he said. To ensure the work's done properly, Elizabeth City-based geotechnical firm GET Solutions will monitor the Stevenson Sand daily during the work, Gardner added.

Projecting the C&D hill will run out of room in three to four months, Gardner said the county hoped to see Stevenson Sand start work next month. Gardner also said the expansion, once complete, should provide the landfill enough room for 15 years. The county will expand into additional acres when needed, he also said.