Division of Waste Management
Landfill in Adair still burning; hot spots being addressed

Press Release Date:  Thursday, November 06, 2008  
Contact Information:  Robert Francis, Environmental Response Team,
502-564-2150, Ext. 381

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 6, 2008) – Fire suppression efforts continue at Pyles Demolition Recycling, a construction demolition and debris landfill in Columbia, where a subsurface fire was discovered in early October.

The state Division of Waste Management’s Columbia Regional Office has received several odor complaints from area residents.

Following discovery of the fire, the division issued a notice of violation directing Pyles to take immediate action to extinguish the fire. The company began firefighting efforts on Oct. 9.  Upon the advice of a landfill fire expert, a clay soil covering was applied on Oct. 22 to suppress the fire.

Robert Francis, manager of the Environmental Response Team in the state Department for Environmental Protection (DEP), said Pyles Construction continues to monitor the landfill for “hot spots.” 

When hot spots are discovered, they are re-packed with clay soil to control the smoke. On the north and west sides of the waste boundary, there is a rock, gravel and soil fill area that served as a retaining wall. This wall was allowing additional air to enter the landfill to keep the fire going. 

Francis said the landfill expert who visited the site earlier recommended removing this wall and extending the clay soil cap over the entire edge of the landfill to cut air off from entering the landfill. Work to remove the wall and cap the edge of the landfill began Monday, Nov. 3, and is scheduled to be completed by Friday, Nov. 7. 

As the company digs the wall out, some smoke is releasing before it can be covered.  The company is also monitoring and repacking some smoke outbreaks along the south boundary of the landfill. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has conducted air monitoring that indicates smoke coming from the landfill is not a threat to human health or the environment.  Odors encountered by nearby businesses and residents may be a nuisance, but are not harmful to the public.

People with questions or concerns about the health effects can contact Corey Patterson with the Lake Cumberland District Health Department at 270-384-5564.

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