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DO WASTE DEPOTS LEAK? IF SO, WHAT ARE THE IMPACTS?
DO WASTE DEPOTS LEAK? IF SO, WHAT ARE THE IMPACTS?
By Murray Thompson (BAppSci Environmental Health 1998; Hons I Social Ecology 1999, University of Western Sydney)
Essay URL: https://poisonedpeople1.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/do-waste-depots-leak-if-so-what-are-the-impacts
Short link: http://wp.me/p2DVqC-2u
My name is Murray Thompson (BAppSci Environmental Health, 1998, University of Western Sydney). I have some experience with the issue of both chemical poisoning (http://indiegogo.com/poisoned-people) and toxic waste dumps that I would like to offer here:
Landfill Has A Poor Record of Waste Leakage
Page 29: “Landfill technology has a poor track record of waste leakage. Of the US EPA’s 163 identified cases of documented environmental or health impacts:
• In 90% of these cases, groundwater was affected
• In 21% of these cases, contaminated drinking water had impacts on human health and aquatic life (Carra 1990:230).
How, exactly, can groundwater be affected by a waste depot? It’s fairly simple: the depot leaks!
And in this respect, please note Greenpeace statements on chemical migration through the Rickabys Creek gravel underlying a notorious waste depot located in north-western Sydney. I will quote here from page 11 of my book titled Global Toxicity (http://poisoningandlegalaction.com.au/global/MAIN-Global-Toxicity-Chemicals_A-Worldwide-Nightmare.pdf):
“The new [Greenpeace] report says toxic wastes are capable of leaching through the clay and into the permeable gravel layer beneath the clay, which contains the groundwater.
This layer, known as Rickabys Creek Gravel, becomes exposed at the surface in areas downhill from, and close to, the dump.
“If chemicals were leaking from the dump, down into the Rickabys creek Gravel, these chemicals could migrate through the gravel and flow to the surface in neighbouring residential areas”, the report says.
“Almost all of the reported local problems have occurred within or close to the areas where the Rickabys Creek gravel comes to the surface…”
The WMA states that the clay has very low permeability but Greenpeace says many of the wastes dumped at Castlereagh could cause large increases in the permeability of clay…” (Earl 1990:1,4).
See below regarding research “showing that two modes of contaminant escape are possible through clay liners in waste cells (Rowe 1994:219).” (Thompson, et. al. 1998)
And, in terms of the above-mentioned waste depot in Sydney: “the AGC WoodwardClyde 1993 Audit of the depot found toxic waste leakage into groundwater (RAGE 1996:2).” (Thompson, et. al. 1998)
Page 49 of the first report listed above (http://poisoningandlegalaction.com.au/castlereagh/Castlereagh-Liquid-Waste-Disposal-Depot.pdf): “In 1995 the EPA admitted that there has been leakage of waste cells into groundwater (EPA Spokesman 1995, pers. comm. 29 April), but it was considered that prosecution of the Waste Service would not achieve anything in regard to fixing the problem.” (Thompson, et. al. 1998)
Research Is Against Waste Sites Retaining Their Wastes
Page 1: “The ADI Half Yearly (to June 1997) Report on the groundwater monitoring program at the Castlereagh Waste Depot clearly shows that the depot is leaking.” (Thompson 1998/2010)
Page 1: “…modern research on diffusive pollutant transport (Rowe 1994) shows clearly that clay liners not only leak, but will do so against an incoming flow of water into the cell depository.” (Thompson 1998)
Specifically, page 22: ” ‘The objective of controlling the hydraulic conductivity is clearly one of limiting advective contaminant transport (ie the movement of contaminants with moving water) through the liner. However, despite more than a decade of research and the existence of good supporting field data, it is only recently that it has been generally recognized that there is a second contaminant transport process which will occur even through a very low hydraulic conductivity clay liner: that process is chemical diffusion. …diffusion may be the dominant contaminant transport mechanism in a well?constructed clay liner. Furthermore, contaminants can escape from a waste disposal site, by diffusion through a liner, even if water flow in the liner is into the landfill’ (Rowe,1994:219).”
And specifically in relation to the dynamic of waste leakage, on page 11: “The new [Greenpeace] report says toxic wastes are capable of leaching through the clay and into the permeable gravel layer beneath the clay, which contains the groundwater… (Earl 1990:1,4).”
In other words, chemicals can change the permeability of a clay lining in a waste pit. Apart from the buried nightmare of plastic waste cell liners splitting from physical pressures or being pierced by sharp objects mixed in with the waste, what about the significant potential of chemical mixtures dissolving a plastic liner (note how Turpentine dissolves plastic)? My question here is: Has ANY study been performed to PROVE CONCLUSIVELY that COMBINATIONS of chemical wastes can NOT combine to form mixtures that can “eat” their way through a waste pit liner, whether the liner be clay or plastic (or teflon, or kevlar!)? What CAN you use that will not leak? The Precautionary Principle should preclude the entire notion, concept and practice of the burying of toxic waste in cells (and of manufacturing the toxic materials in the first instance!).
The Evidence of Waste Leakage Obvious
The “proof of the pudding” in terms of the specific Castlereagh Liquid Waste Disposal Depot issue noted above and its “one million tonnes of liquid waste” (Kerr, 1995:3) and buried chemicals has been a decades-long legacy of deformed animals, burning skin in children and animals after rain (and aberrant animal behavior in response leading to self-inflicted injuries), cleft palate deformities in children, cadmium contamination of bores, other heavy metal poisoning in adults (e.g. arsenic), statistically significant rare cancers, chronic illness and deaths. This represents an across-the-board slate-wiper influence over an agricultural community burdened with the presence of a waste tip.
See the menu on my website (http://poisoningandlegalaction.com.au/) for links to other Environmental and Human Health research I have authored. These include articles on Mold/Mycotoxins (Termites & Your Health); Bifenthrin (Biflex), Permethrin & Tralomethrin Mobility, Persistence & Toxicity; Organophosphate Toxicity; Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Symptoms; Pesticide Impact On Children; Mushroom Farming Pollution; Chemical/Pesticide Diffusion Through Concrete Slab Foundations (Impact On Sick Building Syndrome Via Vapor Intrusion); Pesticide & Sperm Impact; and a special essay on how the legal system destroys both the environment (http://poisoningandlegalaction.com.au/essays/essay3-diminishing-returns-of-complexity.pdf) and poisoning victims’ and other’s mental and financial integrity (http://indiegogo.com/the-good-samaritan and http://poisoningandlegalaction.com.au/essays/essay2-legal-process-abuse.pdf).
Carra, J.S. 1990, ‘Municipal solid waste and sanitary landfilling in the United States of America’, in International Perspectives on Municipal Solid Wastes and Sanitary Landfilling, eds J.S. Carra and R. Cossu, Academic Press London.
Earl, B. 1990, ‘Dump leak fear — toxic waste could come to surface: Greenpeace’, Penrith Press, 16 October.
Kerr, P. 1995, ‘Toxic tip to close’, Penrith Press, April 25.
RAGE 1996, ‘Toxic depot to close by the end of 1997’, in RAGE Hawkesbury-Nepean Newsletter, Issue 37, October, RAGE Incorporated, Cranebrook NSW Australia.
Rowe, R.K. 1994, ‘Diffusive transport of pollutants through clay liners’, in Landfilling of Waste: Barriers, eds, T.H. Christensen, R. Cossu and R. Stagmann, E. & F.N. Spon, London, UK.
Thompson, M., Sporl, D., Hunter, W., Sinclair, R., Harvey, R. and Mogster, I. 1998 [Online]. “The Impact of the Castlereagh Liquid Waste Disposal Depot on the Londonderry Terrestrial Environment (including the Hawkesbury River)”. Major Environmental Health University Assignment, University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury. Source: http://poisoningandlegalaction.com.au/castlereagh/Castlereagh-Liquid-Waste-Disposal-Depot.pdf.
Thompson, M. 1998 [Online]. “Global Toxicity: Chemicals – A Worldwide Nightmare (Highlighting the Castlereagh Waste Management Centre and its Impact on Londonderry, Sydney)”, Second Edition (ISBN 0-646-23801-9), published by Murray Thompson. Source: http://poisoningandlegalaction.com.au/global/MAIN-Global-Toxicity-Chemicals_A-Worldwide-Nightmare.pdf.
Thompson, M. 1998/2010 [Online]. “1997 REPORT SHOWS TOXIC CHEMICAL LEAKAGE OUTSIDE TOXIC DEPOT”. Originally published in RAGE [Residents Action Group for the Environment] Hawkesbury-Nepean Newsletter, Official Newsletter of Londonderry RAGE Incorporated, February 1998. Source: http://poisoningandlegalaction.com.au/castlereagh/Toxic-Chemical-Leakage-Outside-Waste-Depot.pdf.