City of Florence makes application to ADEM to renew permit for Florence Landfill – Shoals Environmental Alliance voices objections

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FLORENCE – The Alabama Department of Environmental management (ADEM) recently received an application from the City of Florence to renew its permit to operate the Florence landfill for another 5-year period. Under the new permit the landfill will no longer bury any garbage and will dispose of only construction and demolition material as well as inert trash and tree limbs that citizens put out along the street to be picked up by the Street Department.

Charles Rose


Charles Rose, of The Shoals Environmental Alliance, says he sees a major problem with the requested permit. He said that ADEM has failed to require that the City install a monitoring well on or near the landfill site that will measure the quality of groundwater BEFORE it is affected by leakage from buried garbage. Such a well (called an upgradient well) is needed to demonstrate that the serious contamination of the groundwater and the springs around the landfill site is being caused by the landfill itself and not by some other source.







Leachate flows from Florence Landfill. Photo taken in Spring 2012, by Charles Rose.

Rose told The Quad-Cities Daily, “The monitoring well that the landfill has been using as its claimed upgradient well is in reality being contaminated by landfill waste, according to studies done by professional hydrogeologist Tom Aley (see attached reports). As a result, for many years the City of Florence has escaped its responsibility for cleaning up the contamination problems there by claiming that they are not caused by the landfill.” ADEM issued a public notice about the upcoming permit renewal on August 29 and is giving members of the public an opportunity to offer their comments on this matter. In order for comments to be considered in the permit renewal process, they must be received by ADEM by October 3.Rose is urging members of The Shoals Environmental Alliance and area residents to make comments to ADEM, requesting that before the city’s landfill permit is renewed, the City of Florence should first be required to install a new, properly functioning, upgradient well to accurately measure the background quality of groundwater that is not affected by any leakage from the landfill.The public can send comments to:Russell Kelly
Chief, Permits and Services Division
Alabama Department of Environmental Management
PO Box 301463
Montgomery, AL 36130-1463

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