MPCA seeks comments on proposed landfill expansion in Inver Grove Heights

Contact: Mary Connor, 651-757-2629

St. Paul, Minn. — BFI Waste Systems of North America LLC, is proposing to increase the capacity of its Pine Bend Landfill in Inver Grove Heights, which receives mixed municipal solid waste.

The company will not increase the footprint size of the landfill, but is requesting clearance to develop cover slopes around the entire facility. The slopes would make room for 4,137,400 cubic yards of additional waste to be piled on top of the existing landfill. Based on current volumes, the expansion would add about eight years of capacity to the Pine Bend Landfill.

Landfills must be designed to contain and collect fluid that leaches out of the waste (leachate), which could carry pollutants into surrounding land, groundwater, rivers and lakes. The Pine Bend Landfill has collected 5,000,000 to 9,600,000 gallons a year of leachate between 2008 and 2014, and predicts that it would generate eight to nine million gallons a year after the expansion. Leachate is transported to the Metropolitan Council wastewater treatment plant in St. Paul for treatment.

Landfills also must plan for ways to mitigate rain and snow melt runoff; control gas emissions from the waste; monitor water quality in nearby groundwater, rivers, and lakes; and cover the waste when the landfill has reach its capacity.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has prepared an environmental assessment worksheet on the proposed landfill expansion to describe the project, lay out the landfill owner’s environmental protection plans, and outline the expansion’s potential impact on the environment. The EAW details the site location, nearby bodies of water and groundwater, soil types, air and odor emissions, noise concerns, and more. The EAW is available on the MPCA's Environmental Assessments Worksheets webpage.

Comments on the environmental assessment worksheet must be in writing and submitted by 4:30 p.m. on July 27, 2016 to Charles Peterson (651-757-2856) at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155-4194.