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Wheelebrator Putnam Inc. seeks Corps of Engineers permit to expand landfill in Putnam

Published July 9, 2019

CONCORD, Mass. – Wheelebrator Putnam Incorporated is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the U.S. in conjunction with expanding a landfill in Putnam, Connecticut.


Wheelebrator Putnam Incorporated, of 200 Technology Park Drive in Putnam, is proposing work in inland wetlands adjacent to an unnamed tributary of the Quinebaug River at 344 River Road in Putnam. The purpose of the project is to expand the only existing operational ash residue landfill in the state of Connecticut to meet state needs and capacity for the next 25 years.


The proposed work will involve discharge of fill material in inland forested and shrub wetlands over a total of 7.23 acres and 1,476 linear feet of intermittent stream for the establishment of a new ash residue geosynthetic baseliner containment system to expand the existing Putnam ash residue landfill which has been in operation since 1999 and is estimated to reach capacity in 2023.


The proposed landfill expansion will occur in a total of five construction phases over an estimated 15- to 20- year timeframe and the activity is expected to effectively double the capacity of the landfill baseliner's existing footprint from that of 60 acres to 128 acres. In addition to the baseliner landfill footprint itself, this estimated expansion also includes an additional 27.2 acres of perimeter disturbance for exterior grading, stormwater basins, access roads and appurtenant facilities.


The expanded facility will be used for the disposal, storage and management of approximately 600,000 tons of ash residue from a Resource Recovery Facility and coal-fired power generation plants within the newly created ash residue baseliner containment system. The facility is expected to serve more than 1 million households, 100 Connecticut communities and 80 percent of the state's population. During evaluation the applicant considered a range of options from closing the facility and redirecting ash to other New England states to establishment of a new landfill at another New England or east coast location.


The monofill landfill baseline system is modelled and designed with an impermeable base layer and a leachate collection and removal system to meet State of Connecticut regulation for a 25-year, 24-hour storm event.                                                    


The proposed stormwater detention systems, emergency spillways and associated conveyance features for the proposed project have been sized up to, and including, the 100-year, 24-hour storm event and to meet Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Management criteria. The sediment forebays will provide pretreatment and remove coarse solids and floatables from stormwater. Diversion swales are proposed at 30-foot vertical intervals to be constructed on the side slope of the land fill in order to intercept and slow stormwater runoff.


At the end of each phased expansion, the capped landfill cells will be maintained in a vegetated state.


Compensatory wetland mitigation proposed to offset the loss of wetland and waterway functions includes approximately 7.30 acres of wetland creation, 0.96 acre of wetland rehabilitation involving invasive plant eradication and management and purchase of mitigation credits from the Audubon Connecticut In-Lieu Fee program.


The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps in compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in U.S. waters, including wetlands. The public notice, with more specifics on the work proposed by Wheelebrator Putnam Incorporated, can be viewed on the Corps website at https://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/PublicNotices/.


Public comments on Wheelebrator Putnam Incorporated’s proposed work (file # NAE-2018-00556) should be forwarded no later than Aug. 8, 2019 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Cori Rose), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Cori Rose at 978-318-8306 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to: cori.m.rose@usace.army.mil.

Tim Dugan

Release no. 19-062