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7/25/2013 State Health Dept. says old landfill “is complying”


The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) cleared up the confusion surrounding the county’s old landfill site located along Lake DeWeese Road north of Westcliffe.

Concerns had been expressed about methane gas spreading from the landfill into a new development of homes being built nearby. After some investigation, it has been discovered that there is no immediate methane pollution threat from the landfill.

"The landfill was closed in the early ‘90s," Eric Jacobs from the CDPHE told the Tribune.

Because it was closed almost two decades ago, precautions had not been taken to contain noxious gasses and possible chemicals from dispersing into underground water systems and air.

Charles Johnson of the CDPHE said that there has not been any methane found in the surrounding homes.

To be safe rather than sorry, the CDPHE has asked the county to put gas probes in and establish underground monitoring to verify that no problem exists.

"It is not out of compliance," Charles Johnson from the CDPHE said. "This is a post-closure care protection measure."

Custer County understands that it is important to keep its residents safe, and has not fought the CDPHE on these requests.

"The landfill is complying," Johnson went on, "so there is no need for enforcement."