Tests examine dump's impact on North Sound

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A series of tests are under way to determine the impact of the George Town Landfill site on the surrounding environment, including the North Sound. 

A multinational engineering company is carrying out environmental testing at the site. Concerns have been raised for several years about the threat of contaminants from the unlined dump potentially leaching into the sound. 

Consultants AMEC Foster Wheeler have been installing monitoring wells and carrying out groundwater sampling since April 6. They are also carrying out tests at the landfills on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. 

As part of the two-week research visit, the group will also look at sediment samples from the north canal in George Town and out into the North Sound. 

The gases produced at the landfill, known locally as Mount Trashmore, will also be tested. 

“Other plans include water and biological sampling, as well as landfill gas, hydrogen sulfide and dust sampling,” according to a government statement. 

The findings of the study will be made public in a Landfill Site Environmental Review Report, according to Jim Schubert, project manager for the Integrated Solid Waste Management study. 

Mr. Schubert did not respond to requests for further comment on Wednesday. 

Martin Edelenbos, an engineering coordinator for waste management at the Dart group, said the tests would provide valuable data on the extent of any contamination issues from the landfill site.  

He said the work being carried out is similar in nature to what Dart had proposed to do as part of the remediation of the George Town site under a deal with the previous government to move the landfill to Bodden Town.  

He said the work would likely help fill a data gap on the environmental impacts of the site and help determine how to handle them. 

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Simon Howard and Jim Schubert set up a dust monitoring station at the landfill.
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  1. I hope they survey the area on the South coast of North Sound. I have owned a property on the water there for over 30 years. In the old days it was a nursery area for an incredible variety of fish, crabs, and lobster. Now it is a desert, and when there is a strong Norther, the surface is covered in a dirty yellow brown foam. When I lifted an old mooring at the back of the house, the stench when it broke free from the mud on the bottom was nauseating. Something has changed.

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  2. The biological sampling is very important on this site and any other side on the island, because if the discovery of large amounts of Hydrogen sulfide is discovered in the air that is very dangerous to the community. This Hydrogen sulfide which we also know as Hydro sulfuric acid as far as I know when mixed with air is explosive. Am I correct in thinking that living near areas such as dumps, gas oil drilling can cause serious exposure to surrounding citizens, contamination through the air and contaminated water? Some of these chemicals being investigated including the Hydrogen sulfide is poisonous and highly toxic and because of some of them being able to hide its smell people maybe unaware until it is too late. I do expect that these test will be carried out as quickly as possible for the sake of persons living in close proximity of the landfill. This place need to be capped as quickly as possible, whether we want to accept it or not, and who knows what is the real reason why everyone is dying of cancer on the island? Could the dump have something to do with it. Are we being told the truth, or are we just sitting ducks. You be the judge.

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  3. When will results of environmental testing of Cayman Brac’s huge dump on South Side be revealed? This 25+ year scourge of the dump and the odor of burning landfill wafting towards the southwest end of the Brac, has affected homes and hotels and real estate sales and tourists to the island. Waste management and contamination issues are paramount on Cayman Brac, especially since the tremendous growth of the dump since Hurricanes Ivan in 2004 and Paloma in 2008.

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  4. If there’s one thing the CIG is good at it’s commissioning studies and hiring consultant to study and investigate Caymans issues, think things through for them and make well qualified recommendations. Whether they listen to this advice or follow these recommendation is another story.

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  5. If they are determining the impact on the surrounding environment I suggest they need to take a photo of our magnificent mountain from any one of our hundreds of visiting cruiseships.

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  6. On the second paragraph it states the UNLINED dump site. A unlined dump site will sooner or later leech into the ground water and surrounding area like north sound. I wish the people of Grand Cayman ALL THE BEST OF LUCK but the monster is already lose.

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