Council Member Wooten releases statement on ‘unacceptable smell’ radiating from Virginia Beach landfill

Virginia Beach
Sabrina Wooten Virginia Beach City Council_1538686245362.jpeg.jpg

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach City Council Member Sabrina Wooten released a statement Saturday on the continued smell coming from the Hampton Roads Recovery Center (HRRC) landfill.

Wooten says she is aware of the “unacceptable smell that radiates from the HRRC landfill.” She says that she has been monitoring it and has also been in communication with management and the Department of Environmental Quality.  

“Please know that I have expressed my dismay and concern about the unbearable smell that many residents are experiencing. In addition, I have also addressed email concerns that I have received directly to provide clarification regarding this matter,” she continued.

The management team at HRRC and the Public Works Department for the city released a statement in response to her reaching out.

The statement said that there is a “Waste Connections remediation plan that is moving forward to mitigate the landfill odor. More specifically, they will continue to work towards a permanent fix for odor issues in the area.”

According to the response, the plan includes a gas system expansion by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. During the expansion, “a series 8” vertical gas collection wells that will penetrate deeply into the waste mass in areas where they believe will be most beneficial and capture gas before it is able to migrate to the surface.”

The project is expected to begin towards the end of January or beginning of February.

An additional measure to reduce the smell includes the possibility of synthetic covers to better seal the dirt cover creating a barrier that gas cannot penetrate through.

“They believe that these steps will greatly decrease odors in the area, and will continue to work until that goal is accomplished,” the statement continues.

Wooten says that the smell has been an issue for years and during her first year in office in 2018, she made it a priority.

As a result, a new evaporation system was implemented about two years ago to try to address the problem.

In 2019, 10 On Your Side reported that quite a few people who live near the private landfill in Virginia Beach were complaining about the sudden smell coming from the property.

“Accordingly, the above-mentioned plan has been proposed to provide a permanent solution to the reoccurring, horrible smell. I am sorry that the residents have to experience these circumstances. However, I am committed to addressing this matter and holding HRRC accountable,” she said.

Read the full statement here.

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