JOHNSTOWN - In an effort to save money, the city is trying to cut in half the number of sampling wells it has to monitor at the former city landfill.
The city monitors 27 wells for the landfill, which has been closed for 27 years. Cost savings by reducing the amount of monitoring by 50 percent were unavailable, but the city spent about $32,500 for sampling and monitoring wells in 2011.
City Engineer Chandra Cotter reported to the Common Council Monday that consultant Arcadis-US of Clifton Park has been doing work for the city related to the former Johnstown Landfill off West State Street Extension. She said Arcadis-US did a final report and submitted it to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
The city is required by the state and federal governments to conduct semiannual groundwater and surface-water monitoring sampling as part of the former landfill's post-closure plan.
Cotter reported Monday that after reviewing Arcadis-US' report, "We have proposed the amount of wells for sampling be cut in half."
She said the city will be teleconferencing with DEC on the issue.
Cotter said Tuesday the potential for pollution and environmental hazard at the former landfill has been reduced "significantly," and the city contends it shouldn't have to do as much monitoring.
In accordance with the Environmental Monitoring and Site Analytical Plan developed for the former landfill, an annual report was prepared to summarize the post-closure groundwater and surface water sampling conducted in 2011.
Cotter said groundwater and surface-water samples were collected and analyzed.
In the annual report to the EPA and DEC, Cotter said her office recommended to the EPA that the city reduce the amount of sampling in 2012 by about half.
"We do not have hard numbers, but if accepted, this would reduce sampling and analytical costs significantly," Cotter said.
The council last September approved a $68,000 contract with Arcadis-US to perform professional services involving compliance monitoring for the dump, which was closed in 1985.
Arcadis-US' work also included installation of six monitoring wells to replace damaged wells and two rounds of groundwater sampling.
Former City Engineer Chad Kortz said last fall some of the wells are on private property involving contracts between the city and the property owners, and they needed attention due to vandalism and the aging process.
Michael Anich can be reached at email@example.com.