An anticipated savings of millions of dollars on the Tollgate landfill capping project would allow the county to accelerate work on three other landfill projects, Harford County officials say.
The county proposes to transfer almost $2.5 million within the Solid Waste Capital Projects Fund from the Tollgate landfill fund to projects at the Scarboro landfill near Dublin and the Bush Valley landfill in Abingdon.
The money -- from a lower-than-expected bid on the cap construction -- would be used during this fiscal year to help finance two new cells at Scarboro; to accelerate the remediation of the older, closed portion of Scarboro; and to reimburse state and federal environmental agencies for oversight of Bush Valley.
Legislation for the formal transfer of funds was introduced Tuesday in the County Council. A public hearing is scheduled for Jan. 17.
Almost $9 million was budgeted for remaining work at the Tollgate landfill, which closed in 1987 after 33 years as the county's central dump, said Jefferson Blomquist, deputy county attorney.
The bulk of that was expected to be spent in the next year on
building the cap, a "sandwich" of synthetic liners, mesh material and layers of soil that will cover 62 acres and prevent rainwater from soaking into the ground at the site of the heaviest chemical concentration.
Cleanup at Tollgate also will include a system of extraction wells to remove and treat contaminated ground water that has migrated south toward Winters Run. The wells will be installed after the cap is completed.
The low bid on the cap -- $3.5 million from Crouse Construction Co. Inc.-- was nearly $3.5 million less than expected, Mr. Blomquist said. The bid was accepted last summer and work on the cap began last month.
Purchasing agent Joseph Patti said Crouse, which uses large, earth-moving "pans" rather than dump trucks to transfer soil to the cap site, proposed a more economical method of moving soil than the other two bidders.
The work involves transporting about 100,000 cubic feet of soil from Heavenly Waters Park, south of Tollgate Road, to the landfill on the north side of the road.
County Treasurer James Jewell said $1.75 million of the transferred funds would go toward excavating and lining two new cells at the Scarboro Solid Waste Disposal Site, the newer portion of the landfill. The county already had allocated $1.75 million to the project in this year's budget and was expected to assign the rest of the costs in fiscal 1996.
"This will allow us to bid the entire project at once," Mr. Jewell said. He said bids will go out in the spring. The cells will be completed in 1996.
A second bill before the council calls for the transfer of $500,000 from the Tollgate project to remediation efforts at the old Scarboro landfill, next to the facility in use.
The county recently signed an agreement with the Maryland Department of the Environment to install an interim ground water treatment system around the perimeter of the old landfill, which was used from 1956 through 1986. It was capped in 1987.
It also agreed to conduct a study of the entire Scarboro landfill area, including an assessment of air quality and contaminants in ground water and sediments.
Mr. Blomquist said data collected so far suggest that contaminated ground water detected to the south and southwest of the site is caused by the old, unlined landfill. Potential contamination from that site has been of concern to area residents and environmentalists for years.
Work on the treatment system will begin in the next few months, said Mr. Blomquist.
The system will pump ground water to the surface so contaminants can be removed.
Larry Klimovitz, county director of administration, said the remediation work at Scarboro was not expected to start until fiscal 1996, but the fund transfer will allow at least the engineering study to get under way before June 30.
He said the entire project is expected to cost about $1.75 million over two years.
A public meeting on the plans will be held Jan. 5 at Dublin Elementary School.
The third bill proposes to transfer $200,000 to the Bush Valley Landfill on Route 7 to cover oversight costs incurred by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and state Department of the Environment.
Bush Valley, which opened in 1974 and was abandoned in 1982, is on the federal Superfund list of hazardous materials sites. Its cleanup, being done by the county, is supervised by the EPA, which charges the county for oversight.
The county has been involved in analyzing ground water, monitoring wells and sampling soils there since 1990.
Those studies are expected to be completed next year, Mr. Blomquist said.