SPSA approves plan to get leachate out of Suffolk landfill

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Wednesday morning, SPSA approved a plan to get leachate out of the Suffolk landfill in response to a violation of state regulations.

10 On Your Side reported how SPSA is supposed to have one foot of standing water called leachate in the bottom of the landfill, but today, SPSA has 23 feet of leachate, which is an environmental violation with the Department of Environmental Quality.

Gallery: SPSA landfill leachate problem

The violation deals with the amount of excessive liquids put into the landfill, including rain. On Wednesday, the board approved a contract to pump 200,000 gallons of extra leachate out of the lagoons and take it off site to be treated and dumped.

Virginia Beach Represenative Bill Sorrentino says SPSA was asleep at the switch and the problem was identified much too late.

“My concern for a long period of time someone was asleep at the switch. We have a leachate problem now and it has been building for the last nine to 10 years and when you ask how do you get 30 feet of leachate in the landfill the answer is one foot at a time,” said Sorrentino. “My understanding about that equipment has been non-operational for the last nine years, and the board found out about this last month. There is a big gap in knowing and doing”

What is Virginia Beach’s concern about how much this will cost taxpayers?

Sorrentino said, “Ultimately it cost to fix the leachate problem and it will directly affect the tipping fee and that affects our customers the citizens of Virginia Beach.”

The project cost is just over $2.5 million, but will be covered by budget surpluses and for now local cities will not be charged anything more to cover the costs.