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Monday, January 17, 2022

County tracking pollutant plume from landfill

A trail of pollution is currently seeping from the Cottonwood County Landfill.

At last week’s special work session, Cottonwood County Commissioners heard an update on efforts to track a slow-moving plume of vinyl chloride from an older, unlined portion of the landfill.

Gary Gilbert, the on-site engineer at the county landfill, said there is currently a complex investigation going on to try to track the spread of the vinyl chloride.

The testing involves taking borings at three locations in the possible plume — one roughly in the middle and one on each side.

Gilbert estimated the plume has migrated roughly a mile south of the landfill. He added that vinyl chloride evaporates when exposed to air, but there is concern about ground water in the area. So far, no private wells have been contaminated and the Des Moines River is far enough away that future mitigation efforts would keep the river safe.

More on this story appears in the Dec. 8 print edition of the Citizen.

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