Volatile Organic Compounds Detected Near Closed Landfill - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Volatile Organic Compounds Detected Near Closed Landfill

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BOZEMAN - The city of Bozeman is taking action to make sure volatile organic compounds from the landfill do not spread into nearby homes.
"We have done some monitoring out there. We have found the containments under the houses," said Rick Hixson, Bozeman City Engineer. "We don't know that it's in the houses."

A landfill was established in 1972 as an unlined facility, a lined cell was added in 1995 and the entire landfill was closed in 2008. A gas extraction flare was built in 1997 to mitigate the decomposing garbage.

"The containments are coming from that unlined cell from the decomposition of the waste in the old cell," said Hixson.

The city has been routinely testing both the groundwater and the landfill gases. Tom Wilson lives in the Bridger Creek subdivision. He is very pleased with how the city is handling the situation.

"They put a notice on our door, then they called us about the meeting again in a very proactive form," said Wilson.

He said he's somewhat concerned about the compound levels in his home.

"I guess a little concern, but a little concern on the stand point of what are the levels," said Wilson. "I expect that we'll find low quantities within the house. The test wells from 20 to 50 feet in the various areas and they found very low concentration in some of these chemicals."

To test for the compounds, first the city will do a survey to find out if the home has those solvents.

"They will ask things like do you have dry cleaning, have you got have dry cleaning back from the dry cleaners in the past few days? Do you have cleaning products under your sink, can I see what those products are," said Hixson.

The city will then offer indoor air sampling to all residents in the subdivision by using a canister with a vacuum. If the home does contain these compounds, a soil vapor extraction system will take place. Hixson said there is no short term risk to an individual only long-term.

"If you're exposed at this level for a life time of one in a million chance of getting cancer," said Hixson.

Hixson said it will take a few weeks before the results from the air sampling will be complete.

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