Paynesville Landfill closing nearly complete

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 7/16/96.

Work is nearly completed on the closing of the Paynesville Landfill in Paynesville Township. Mathiowetz Construction, Sleepy Eye, has been working since May on moving garbage piles and reshaping the landfill.

Karyn Laufenberg, site engineer for Barr Engineering, said about 40,000 cubic yards of garbage was moved by Mathiowetz and another 25,000 cubic yards by Chris Kreger, former landfill owner. It is Laufenberg's responsibility to make sure the plans and specifications are followed. She said the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) inspectors check the progress periodically as well.

"We were fortunate the waste was dumped at this site as the soil has a lot of clay which hindered migration of the pollutants to the ground water," Laufenberg said Eleven gas vents have been built into the hill to help maintain proper gas levels. Besides the gas vents, two outlets have been installed to release surface water into ditches.

Laufenberg said the MPCA will be monitoring the wells for gas problems to ensure there is no methane migration to neighboring wells.

She said there are a few things left, a foot of sand, six inches of clay and six inches of top soil need to be placed on top of a heavy plastic liner before the hill can be seeded to grass. Once the grading is completed, the hill will have a five to one grade as its maximum slope. Prior to the reshaping, the hill was uneven and rather steep in places. The new cover system should stop further ground water contamination. The MPCA will continue ground water monitoring, model contaminant behavior in downgradient direction, and monitor residential wells.

The state will be responsible for maintenance of the landfill once it is closed. Of the 59 acres in the Paynesville Landfill, only 12 acres will need to be mowed. The rest of the landfill will be under a land management plan. The plan also calls for a 200-foot buffer zone around the landfill.

The MPCA has added two new sites and removed 22 others from the state's list of hazardous waste sites needing investigation or clean-up under Minnesota's Superfund program.

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