Land­fill ex­pan­sion wor­ries some

Meth­ane lev­els con­cern res­i­dents

The Covington News - - Front Page - By Rachel Oswald

De­spite the county’s ef­forts to calm the fears of res­i­dents of Lower River Road that the land­fill does not pose a health threat, some peo­ple still have con­cerns.

To re­spond to those con­cerns, a sec­ond pub­lic in­for­ma­tion meet­ing on the ex­pan­sion of the Lower River Road Land­fill will be held at 7 p.m. on April 14 at the His­toric Court­house. The county’s land­fill con­sul­tants, Richard­son, Smith, Gard­ner & As­so­ciates, will be in at­ten­dance along with the New­ton County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers.

At the meet­ing the land­fill con­sul­tants and the BOC will give at­ten­dees an over­view of their plans to ex­pand the land­fill’s ca­pac­ity and will take ques­tions from the au­di­ence. This will be the sec­ond pub­lic in­for­ma­tion ses­sion on the mat­ter held by the BOC. The first meet­ing, held on March 20 was not well-at­tended.

The county plans to sub­mit an ap­pli­ca­tion for a Solid Waste Han­dling Per­mit to the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Di­vi­sion of the Ge­or­gia De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources to in­crease the room avail­able for waste dis­posal at the land­fill, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from County Chair­man Aaron Varner.

At the March 20 meet­ing, the BOC ap­proved a pro­posal to ex­pand the land­fill by fill­ing in un­oc­cu­pied space be­tween the ex­ist­ing four waste sites. Ac­cord­ing to the pro­posal, the ex­pan­sion will not push waste to­ward the private homes across the street but will ac­tu­ally shift the waste slightly away. There will be no new land pur­chases with the pro­posal.

The county plans to shift all waste into a sin­gle large land­fill lined with sev­eral feet of com­pacted clay and a high-den­sity poly­eth­yl­ene ma­te­rial. The com­bined ef­fect of the liner and clay is ex­pected make it very dif­fi­cult for any meth­ane gas to leave the site. Of the 88 acres cur­rently per­mit­ted for waste dis­posal, 14 have been used with­out a liner sys­tem while 37 are cur­rently used with a liner sys­tem.

Meth­ane is a green­house gas formed as a byprod­uct of the de­com­po­si­tion process and can be ex­plo­sive if high con­cen­tra­tions of it are reached in an en­closed space.

A re­cent test­ing of meth­ane lev­els by a ge­ol­o­gist with Ge­or­gia En­vi­ron­men­tal & Man­age­ment Ser­vices Inc. re­vealed that meth­ane had reached Lower Ex­plo­sive Level lim­its at sev­eral points around the land­fill.

Robert Krasko, the ge­ol­o­gist who per­formed the in­spec­tion, said in a pre­vi­ous in­ter­view that the meth­ane lev­els did not pose an im­mi­nent health risk to peo­ple liv­ing or work­ing in the vicin­ity of the land­fill. Cor­rec­tive ac­tions have been taken to lower meth­ane lev­els at the land­fill, he said.

spokesper­son John Bankhead. Jones, who will even­tu­ally be buried in New Jer­sey, was orig­i­nally from the state and has fam­ily there.

“ Old fash­ioned po­lice work led us to him,” Bankhead said.

A GBI agent and an NCSO in­ves­ti­ga­tor trav­eled to New Jer­sey to con­tinue the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Jones’s mur­der. They were as­sisted by the New Jer­sey State Po­lice, the Bridgeton Bar­racks and Bridgeton City Po­lice, said NCSO pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer In­ves­ti­ga­tor Shar­ron Ste­wart.

Ste­wart said Young had a crim­i­nal his­tory with acts that could be con­sid­ered dan­ger­ous.

Pas­tor Eric Lee of Spring­field Bap­tist Church in Cony­ers, where Jones was an ac­tive mem­ber of the sin­gles min­istry and sang in the choir, said the ar­rest an­swered a lot of ques­tions, but raised a slew of other ques­tions.

“ He was caught in some­thing he was in­no­cent of,” Lee said. “ We’re re­lieved some­one is in cus­tody, but we are still griev­ing.”

A me­mo­rial ser­vice was held for Jones at Spring­field Bap­tist on Thurs­day evening.

“ I want to thank the NCSO and GBI for tak­ing the life of Gary Jones so per­son­ally and treat­ing him with the ut­most in­tegrity, dig­nity, re­spect and honor,” Lee said, “ and for bring­ing this to a swift con­clu­sion.”

No one had called in with a tip and claimed the $ 10,000 re­ward of­fered by Spring­field Bap­tist Church and New Birth Mis­sion­ary Bap­tist Church, ac­cord­ing to Ste­wart.

Jones’s death marked the fifth homi­cide in New­ton County, com­pared to 10 homi­cides for 2007 and four in 2006.

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