Preliminary test results, in combination with known information about the flow of groundwater at and around the landfill, demonstrate that groundwater beneath the landfill predominantly flows to the northwest in overburden soils and bedrock.
Concentrations of 1,4 dioxane and/or several chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs), including trichloroethene (TCE) have been detected in several private wells along H. Foote Road and Eleanor Lane. Residences on H. Foote Road and Eleanor Lane are northeast of the landfill in an area that available data indicate is not downgradient of the landfill, but rather side-gradient to the landfill. When areas are side-gradient to each other, the groundwater flowing beneath those areas is sourced from different places and travels to different places, like cars driving down a multi-lane roadway - although the cars may travel in parallel paths adjacent to each other, the cars do not meet as they drive down the road. Similarly, the groundwater flowing under the residential area is anticipated to travel in a parallel but separate path from the groundwater flowing under the landfill. Although it is possible for groundwater flowing in one direction to change direction, a force would be required to create that change. In the residential area, the force that would be required to create such a change would be significant in order to draw water from beneath the landfill to the residential area along H. Foote Road and Eleanor Lane. We believe that, based on the information gathered to date, water does not flow from the landfill to the residences in this area.
It is important to note that the highest residential concentrations of 1,4 dioxane and TCE have been detected in one well along H. Foote Road, located approximately 2,400 feet up gradient from the landfill. Casella has recently installed pressure transducers in private wells within the residential area to collect data to confirm the current understanding of groundwater flow in the residential area. Additional investigations (including additional physical and chemical testing of the residential well with the highest concentrations of these compounds) are on-going which will provide more information on groundwater flow in the area.
Casella is working to help identify the responsible party by conducting a detailed hydrogeological study of the area, and Casella will continue to support its neighbors in Charlton throughout the process.
According to the Massachusetts DEP's 2014 Solid Waste Data Update published in March 2016, the Commonwealth produced 5.56 million tons of trash in 2014. The report also states that from 2012 to 2014, total disposal increased by 3%. Of the total waste that required disposal, 4.9 million tons (88%) were disposed in-state.
According to Sharon Kneiss, President and CEO of the National Waste & Recycling Association, "Until everything in America is recyclable, landfills still play a vital role as a viable disposal option. We need them as a significant component of our economy." Without the capacity that the State has today additional costs would likely be incurred as well as increased carbon footprint and increased wear and tear on roads needed to transport waste farther.