Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Greener plan for Saufley landfill pitched | Pensacola News Journal | pnj.com

Greener plan for Saufley landfill pitched | Pensacola News Journal | pnj.com: "Greener plan for Saufley landfill pitched"

Greener plan for Saufley landfill pitched
Local company says it can clean site safely, affordably

8:30 AM, May. 10, 2011 | 3Comments
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Written by
Jamie Page
jepage@pnj.com Filed Under
Local News
A chemist puts black, oil-saturated sand into a glass beaker, adds water and a clear plant-based cleaner, and swirls the now jet-black water.

Within minutes the sand becomes visibly clean and the oil eventually separates from what is seemingly clear water.
The demonstration held Monday in a University of West Florida laboratory holds promise that the same industrial technology can clean debris, soil and contaminated groundwater at Saufley Field Landfill and avoid taking most of the waste to an expensive lined landfill, says Bio Blend Technologies.
The Cantonment-based company, which conducts its research and development at UWF, also says its processes can be done at a significantly lower cost than Escambia County would spend hauling all removed Saufley debris to the county's lined Perdido Landfill.
That's the county's current plan for cleaning up Saufley, an abandoned, mismanaged construction and demolition debris (C&D) landfill that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has said is contaminated.
The original plan was to haul Saufley material that "appears to be" C&D debris to other C&D pits, such as Rolling Hills or Longleaf C&D landfills.
But after the News Journal wrote a story about how residents in those communities planned to fight the decision because they feared their groundwater would become contaminated from the waste, commissioners voted unanimously to send all Saufley waste to a lined landfill.
"The people who live around Saufley can assure you that what they saw go in Saufley Landfill was unimaginable, things like refrigerators and air conditioners where Freon could have leaked into the ground. They said caskets were put in there, medical waste and materials from old buildings that may have had asbestos in it," said Commissioner Wilson Robertson, whose district includes Saufley.
Robertson, last week, moved for all waste removed from Saufley to go to Perdido Landfill.
"So, we have committed to taking it all to a lined landfill," he said. "But with this technology, if the Department of Environmental Protection is on board and there is a better way to do this, we are open to considering it. Safety is number one here."

Bio Blend representatives made the lab presentation to show a group of elected officials, engineers, environmentalists and others stakeholders how its plant-based liquids work in hopes of eventually getting a county contract to clean up Saufley.

After seeing the presentation, Robertson said he would be open to allowing the company to meet with county engineers and create a small test site at Saufley Landfill to determine whether the technology could work there.
The Bio Blend cleaners can leave the water they clean in drinkable condition, meaning the water can be reused, said David O'Neill, president/CEO of Bio Blend Technologies.
Roger Kubala, COO of the company, also claims the product can clean the contaminated groundwater wells and contaminated soil at Saufley in an environmentally green way.
As proposed, Bio Blend also would use another of O'Neill's Cantonment-based companies, Enviro Pro Tech, for the landfill cleanup.
EPT uses a trommel machine that takes a mixture of things like wood, concrete, metals and dirt, and grinds, screens and separates them into separate piles by material for recycling. As the debris is fed through the machine it is sprayed with a Bio Blend cleaner that its makers say will remove all contaminants and leave no harmful by-products.
EPT currently provides environmental monitoring services to Rolling Hills C&D Landfill, the only C&D pit in the county that recycles construction waste.
State Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, also attended the presentation, where he said he would like to see the Saufley mound brought down to ground level if state and U.S. Navy funds are available to assist with it. And Robertson agrees.
Currently, the plan is to take off 20 to 30 feet of the top of the 58-foot mound.
Evers favors the Bio Blend/EPT method of dealing with Saufley's waste.
"I don't care where the waste is taken, but if we are concerned about people's health and the odor that is going to be generated out there, well, if they want to use something to actually break down the contaminants then that's great," Evers said.

"But I have a problem with just hauling off the raw contents from the landfill without treating it and trying to be as safe as possible."

Bio Blend used its technology to clean up an active gas station in Escambia County. After 30 years as a gas station, it had contamination from three underground storage tanks and dispensers that occurred prior to 1996.
The gas station owner first tried a different remedial cleanup method starting in July 2002, and after four years had limited results. Then Bio Blend was hired and after 77 days of treatment, nearly 99 percent of the contamination was removed and the gas station continued operating during the cleanup, O'Neill said.
The cost was $575,000 compared to $1.2 million spent using the previous unsuccessful method, O'Neill said.
It's unclear whether the product has DEP's approval. The county's DEP representative who inspected Bio Blend's work at the local gas station could not be reached for comment.
Bio Blend said its process also could be used to clean up the BP oil spill.

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