In his budget proposal, Governor Mead suggests the Legislature allocate 15 million dollars to help communities close and remediate landfills that no longer comply with federal water quality standards.
The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality estimates there are more than 200 million dollars-worth of leaking landfills statewide, and up to 20 landfills will need to close in the next few years.
Bob Doctor heads up solid waste permitting for the D-E-Q. He says most communities were unprepared for the cost of closing their landfills and shipping waste to a compliant regional landfill. He says the funding could especially help small communities like Wheatland, whose landfill is almost completely full.
“There are communities in that boat where they have contamination, they’re running out of landfill space, they need to go somewhere else… and this is really gonna be a good leg up for them.”
The Legislature allocated 15 million dollars for the cause during the last budget session.
Doctor says the D-E-Q will finish prioritizing and ranking leaking landfills and begin distributing money next year.