Letter: Joyce Harris, Hamilton

Editor: Your June 27article “EPA to Pay for Water Hookups Around Landfill Superfund Site” made us wonder if the 18-acre landfill near Hamilton is another Hidden Lane landfill. Is history repeating itself?

It has been more than 5 months since Cattail LC wrote a letter to the Loudoun Board of Supervisors and released an 8-minute video (loudounrurallandfills.com) on the negative effects of the landfill, otherwise referred to and approved by the county government as a “Personal Recreational Field.”  The county has not taken any action on this issue other than to issue a stop-work order seven months ago because the landfill is 10 feet higher than the county permitted.

Like the Hidden Lane landfill, the Hamilton landfill consists of untested and undocumented demolition and construction debris. It is estimated that the landfill contains 420,000 to 500,000 cubic yards of waste, or 28,000 to 34,000 truckloads.  It rises more than 30 feet and dominates a quarter-mile-long boundary with neighboring conservation land. Liquid waste has also been dumped in the Hamilton landfill. The revenue from dumping could potentially have been in the millions of dollars.

No one knows what is in the waste because there were no manifests from dumpers and because the groundwater and surface water have not been tested.  The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality was asked if it would certify that the landfill does not contain hazardous waste; it refused to do so.

Knowing this, who would allow their child to drink water affected by this landfill?

In a 2005 Connectionnewspaper article about the Hidden Lane landfill, Terrance Wharton, who at the time was director of Engineering for Loudoun County, stated, “A lot of things went in there that should not have,” he said.  “We didn’t know what was going in there.”

Ditto for the Hamilton landfill. We don’t know what has been dumped.  There are no records. No testing. No monitoring wells.

Why don’t we learn from our past mistakes? How long will the community have to wait for the County to install monitoring wells?

The Board of Supervisors and the county need to act swiftly to correct this egregious mistake and to protect residents and the environment before we discover that the Hamilton landfill is the next EPA Superfund site in Loudoun County. Anything less than monitoring is irresponsible.

Joyce Harris, Hamilton

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