Riverton awaits WDEQ decision on phytoremediation at old landfill site; staff says the agency is ‘not yet convinced’

    The Riverton City Council approved a summer maintenance contract this week for the phytoremediation pilot project site at the old Riverton landfill.

    The maintenance work will “preserve what’s already in place” at the phytoremediation site while the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality decides if the project is eligible for their Landfill Remediation Program, public works director Brian Eggleston said.

    The agency is expected to make its decision later this year, Eggleston said, but so far, based on “conversations that I have had with them,” they’re “not real excited about the results of the phytoremediation pilot program.”


    “They’re somewhat resistant,” he told the council. “But they haven’t made a final ruling on it, (so) they still haven’t completely blown it off.”

    His memo to the council says “to date, WDEQ has not been convinced that phytoremediation is a viable solution to treat the groundwater around the old Riverton landfill.”


    The city has invested about $100,000 in the pilot project since its inception two years ago, Eggleston said in his memo.

    The study concluded that “phytoremediation was a feasible corrective action for the old landfill,” Eggleston said, so the city set aside $650,000 to cover the local match for full implementation of the project if it is accepted by WDEQ.


    The total includes the money that will be spent on summer maintenance, he noted.

    ‘Hold out hope’

    Councilmember Kyle Larson expressed his support for the phytoremediation project, calling it “an appropriate way” to address contaminants at the old landfill site.

    He also pointed out that the “alternative” to phytoremediation at the landfill is to “dig it up” – an endeavor that would be much more costly.


    “Two shovels full would be $22,700,” Larson said. “This is a good deal.”

    Mayor Tim Hancock agreed, adding that “we want to hold out hope that this is something that the DEQ could be persuaded (to approve).”

    For more information call the City of Riverton at 856-2227.


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