Community speaks about Gering landfill

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GERING, Neb. A hearing was held on Wednesday night to discuss the future of the current Gering landfill.

“It’s time to enforce the laws,” said Bobby Allbaugh, Spoke Against the Gering Landfill. “They are there for a reason and again as I stated, no one is above the law. Do what you say you will do.”

The room was filled and one testified against the renewal of the Gering Landfill.

“The water goes south towards the Gering Valley Irrigation District and along the way, some of that water penetrates the ground water that may potentially get into citizens drinking water,” explained Allbaugh.

Water is not only used for drinking but it’s an important resource for survival.

“We live in an area that is very valuable with our water,” said Allbaugh. “I get my water for my farms from the Gering Fort Laramie Irrigation District. One of the sites that the city was looking into and we haven’t heard anything recently, has irrigation reservoirs, ditches and tail water which is also known as drainage ditches. They are 360 degrees around that facility.”

Once the ground water is contaminated, it can create sickness to people and animals.

“You have an impacted surface which is made of native soils and when that ground water permeates through that native soil, it is sitting indirect contact with the soil waste,” explained Allbaugh. “The chemicals that are in that waste can then travel with the ground water and then get into the ground water in the state of Nebraska.”

If the direction is to close the Gering Landfill, there are other options for the disposal of trash.

“They want you to think that trash is going to pile up in the streets in Scottsbluff and Gering,” said Allbaugh. “That’s not going to happen. There are two private companies that have expressed interest in solid waste disposal for the Twin Cities. One being TDS in Goshen County and one being waste collections.”

The NDEQ listened to the testimony and said that a lot of the information shared will be put into consideration.

“We will take a look at the testimony that was presented,” said Morgan Leibrandt, Supervisor for Waste Management for NDEQ. “We will go back to our files and we will review other information on files that would be helpful.”

And if anything can be changed, they are looking into it.

“If there is anything that’s actionable, we will certainly look into taking appropriate action,” explained Leibrandt.

The NDEQ has to vote for the renewal of the Gering Landfill by August 15th. If passed, it will last up to five years.