Montana Agency Sets Hearing on Landfill Near Yellowstone River

The proposed Yellowstone Disposal landfill would accept municipal solid waste and oilfield exploration and production solid waste, according to the draft environmental assessment. Montana DEQ has set a public meeting for Dec. 18 and is accepting comments until Jan. 29, 2018.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality has scheduled a public meeting on Dec. 18 about the proposed Yellowstone Disposal landfill in Richland County, near the town of Sidney, Mont., and is accepting public comments on a draft environmental assessment (EA) for the landfill until Jan. 29, 2018. The proposed landfill would accept municipal solid waste and oilfield exploration and production solid waste and be developed in nine and eight separate phases, respectively, according to the EA.

The public meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the MonDak Heritage Center in Sidney and will include a presentation on the license application review process and facility details, with DEQ and Yellowstone Disposal staff answering questions and accepting comments from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The agency and the EA explain that the landfill would be developed on 650.7 acres of privately owned property approximately 4.5 miles southeast of Sidney. The proposed municipal solid waste landfill would encompass 75.2 acres with a total waste disposal capacity of 8,522,100 cubic yards over a projected 64-year life. The oilfield solid waste landfill would encompass 55 acres with a total waste disposal capacity of 5,457,900 cubic yards over a projected 30-year life, and the access to it -- Montana Highway 23 -- would be improved in order to support traffic to the landfill.

The EA says Yellowstone Disposal, LLC submitted a license application for the facility on June 16, 2015. The site is zoned agricultural rural property and is currently largely undeveloped, but there are four operating oil and gas production wells and a communications service building on property adjacent to the site, which is currently used for grazing livestock. A saltwater pipeline and a natural gas pipeline are located beneath a portion of the site.

The EA says the facility would be required to conduct groundwater monitoring twice a year, during high and low groundwater conditions, by sampling wells in a DEQ-approved multi-level groundwater monitoring network, and baseline groundwater sampling for a number of constituents -- cobalt, arsenic, copper, lead, acetone, benzene, styrene, and many others -- would be done prior to construction.

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