Tests examine dump's impact on North Sound

12 May 2016

As published by the Cayman Compass

Simon Howard and Jim Schubert set up a dust monitoring station at the landfill.

A series of tests are under way to determine the impact of the George Town Landfill site on the surrounding environment, including the North Sound.

A multinational engineering company is carrying out environmental testing at the site. Concerns have been raised for several years about the threat of contaminants from the unlined dump potentially leaching into the sound.

Consultants AMEC Foster Wheeler have been installing monitoring wells and carrying out groundwater sampling since April 6. They are also carrying out tests at the landfills on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.

As part of the two-week research visit, the group will also look at sediment samples from the north canal in George Town and out into the North Sound.

The gases produced at the landfill, known locally as Mount Trashmore, will also be tested.

“Other plans include water and biological sampling, as well as landfill gas, hydrogen sulfide and dust sampling,” according to a government statement.

The findings of the study will be made public in a Landfill Site Environmental Review Report, according to Jim Schubert, project manager for the Integrated Solid Waste Management study.

Mr. Schubert did not respond to requests for further comment on Wednesday.

Martin Edelenbos, an engineering coordinator for waste management at the Dart group, said the tests would provide valuable data on the extent of any contamination issues from the landfill site.

He said the work being carried out is similar in nature to what Dart had proposed to do as part of the remediation of the George Town site under a deal with the previous government to move the landfill to Bodden Town.

He said the work would likely help fill a data gap on the environmental impacts of the site and help determine how to handle them. 

James Bovell

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