LRI Landfill to be Subject of Special Legislative Inquiry

“The controversial Land Recovery, Inc. landfill in unincorporated Pierce County will become the subject of fact-finding hearings by a Senate committee following conclusion of the special legislative session. Senator Marilyn Rasmussen, has announced the Senate Environmental Quality & Water Resources Committee will study a reportedly recurring presence of water at the landfill, which has some county residents concerned about possible contamination of the local water supply. The safety of the water and the health of the landfill’s neighbors will be the main focus of this investigation, Rasmussen said, and I hope these hearings will bring people some peace of mind. Senator Karen Fraser, who chairs the committee that is to conduct the hearings, agreed independent review of excessive groundwater at the landfill site deserves legislative attention. Senator Rasmussen has worked hard to make sure her constituents’ voices are heard on this issue, and my committee has the responsibility to review the decisions our environmental agencies have made in overseeing the landfill, Fraser said. Pierce County residents need to know whether those decisions were correct. Despite the possibility of a flooding problem, and that the landfill is sited over a sole-source aquifer that supplies water to much of Pierce County, state and local agencies have allowed LRI to open and operate the landfill over some local objections. In a February 18 letter to Tom Fitzsimmons, director of the state Department of Ecology, Rasmussen focused on higher-than-expected levels of free-flowing groundwater at the surface of the landfill.Rasmussen stated in the letter that, We are experiencing below-normal rainfall, (and) the site is still floating in water … Although (LRI) represented otherwise, they have a mistaken idea of the sources, quantities and orientation of the pressure groundwater sources in the area. The committee’s work will take place during the interim period between legislative sessions, which is when legislators do much of their research and investigative work.Hearing dates will be scheduled following adjournment of the current special legislative session, Rasmussen said.”