Transfer station waits for design report; trash blows nearby |

Transfer station waits for design report; trash blows nearby

by Sharon Carter

After windy days, juniper trees and sagebrush along Pinenut Road and Pinenut Road #2 in the East Valley sport white plastic grocery bags, pieces of cardboard and other wind-carried litter from the Douglas County transfer station.

And it looks as though trash could continue to decorate the area for some time to come.

Jeff Tillman, general manager of Douglas Disposal Inc., which operates the former dump as a staging area to transfer the Valley’s trash to the Lockwood Landfill, said Thursday he is waiting for the county to finish the transfer station design report.

“It’s terrible out there,” Tillman said in a telephone interview. “Tuesday, kids from China Spring came out and picked up trash, then the wind kicked it up again. We’re looking into getting some netting and (more) fencing to hold it back.”

Tillman said he has seen a preliminary draft of the engineering design report, a conceptual plan, which must be approved by county officials before it is submitted to the state.

“The county’s engineers are doing the design work, so we’re waiting on them,” Tillman said.

– NDEP monitoring. Engineer Dennis LaPrairie, of the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Waste Management, Thursday echoed Tillman. LaPrairie said he was waiting to see plans for Douglas’ permanent, covered transfer station.

LaPrairie, who at one time had mining claims in the Pine Nut Mountains near the former dump, said trash in the area has been a constant source of annoyance.

“The county has interim approval to operate the open-air dump site as a transfer station,” LaPrairie said. “It’s a poor design for a transfer station, the place is a mess. We’re hoping the new one will be done right – enclosed on three sides with the water run off controlled.”

LaPrairie said the NDEP, through its corrections branch, was also monitoring for ground water contamination in the area.

“There are so many landfills in the state that have to be monitored for corrective action, when we don’t hear from one for a while, it tends to get put on a back burner,” LaPrairie said. “We’re waiting to review the Douglas plan, we haven’t forgotten.”

– Low fire flows. The hang up with the transfer station’s conceptual design plan, according to Douglas County’s engineering manager, Eric Teitelman, is the water supply.

“There’s not enough water storage for fire flows,” Teitelman said Thursday. “We need to expand the capacity. Other than that, the report is mostly done.”

Teitelman said he and associate civil engineer Ron Roman were working on separate areas of the conceptual plan.

“When the water supply scenario is worked out, we’ll take the plans to the (Board of Douglas County) Commissioners for conceptual and funding approvals,” he said. “We’re working on figuring out how much it will cost with the water improvements.”

n Costs grow. He said a current estimate for the transfer station is $2.5 million.

“The county manager is looking at funding options, particularly, low-interest bonds,” Teitelman said. “We expect to bring the plan to the commission next month. After that we go forward with the actual final design. The problem is, even then, it’s another year before it’s built.

“We’re on schedule, the state wants us to have the permanent transfer station in (the year) 2000.”

– Environment appears stable. Teitelman said because the area is no longer used as a dump, no new compounds are leaching into the soil to contaminate ground water in the area.

“One well at the dump site had detectable, volatile compounds, but we’ve seen no migration to peripheral wells,” he said.

That on-site well had detectable amounts of three toxic chemicals, he said. But since 1992, there has been nothing detected in even the closest other wells.

“Since no new compounds are being added, we’re in the monitoring stage,” he said.

Teitelman said Douglas County has the seven county-owned wells in and around the transfer station. Those and several private domestic wells in the area are tested every three months and the quarterly reports are forwarded to the state.

He also said testing for methane gas and other organic compounds showed the transfer station has good air.

But, he said, the scattered trash is likely continue until the permanent transfer station is built.

“As a temporary facility, there aren’t (state) restrictions,” Teitelman said. “They can’t cover the trash with dirt because they move it directly into the trucks. So when it’s windy, the wind picks it up and blows it away.”