(October 16, 2019)
The gas collection and control system at the Keegan Landfill, which was designed in the spring and was constructed over the summer months, has been working as anticipated since operations began on Sept. 5. The system has significantly reduced hydrogen sulfide emissions from the landfill in the past six weeks. The NJSEA expects further reductions in H2S emissions in the weeks to come as the system continues to become more effective and efficient. The state-of-the-art system was designed by national experts in the field of landfill gas.
Despite the increasing effectiveness of the system, the Mayor of Kearny continues to call for the capping of the landfill with an impermeable liner as a means of eliminating H2S emissions. It is critical to understand that even if the design, engineering, and permitting for an impermeable cap began today, it would be years before installation would be completed under the best of circumstances. To be absolutely clear, the gas collection and control system is working. We fully expect that as it continues to reduce the levels of H2S gas in the landfill and collect and destroy any new gas that is generated, regulatory exceedances of the NJDEP ambient air standard and any nuisance odors caused by the migration of H2S gas off site will be prevented.
There is presently a temporary utility flare being employed to destroy the H2S gas as part of the gas collection and control system. Two Red-tailed Hawks were injured at the flare and those birds are both being rehabilitated at the Raptor Trust. This utility flare will be replaced with a permanent enclosed flare that will significantly reduce the chances of birds being injured by the flame. NJSEA has already installed a variety of deterrent devices around the flare and has eliminated vegetation in the vicinity of the flare to discourage raptors from hunting this area of the landfill. Thus far, these measures have been successful and the NJSEA will continue to monitor wildlife in the area and install any other deterrents that may be necessary for their protection. The NJSEA is working with regulatory authorities to design safety features around the permanent enclosed flare that will be installed in the coming months.