The Environmental Protection Agency recently notified the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection that the Maxey Flats Project has been approved to enter the Final Closure Period. The Maxey Flats Project is an inactive low-level radioactive waste landfill located in Fleming County, Ky., where approximately 4.7 million cubic feet of low-level radioactive waste was buried from 1963-1977.
Earlier this year the department made the determination that natural stabilization is substantially complete. EPA agreed stating, “The benefits of proceeding with final closure are greater than the benefits of waiting for any fractional settlement that might be achieved by not installing the cap for several more decades.” Natural stabilization was the remediation plan approved by the EPA in the 1991 Record of Decision. Natural processes have consolidated the waste in trenches since waste deposition ceased. With subsidence substantially complete, the final cap can be installed to maximize worker and public protection for many years to come. The permanent final cap will be installed in the Final Closure Period.
The final cap will cover nearly 60 acres, the surface area of about 45 football fields including both end zones. An anticipated 1 million-plus cubic feet of fill material will be required for the cap – this is enough material to fill over 11 Olympic-size swimming pools.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is currently conducting a selection process to obtain an engineering firm to design the final cap. The deadline for firms to submit proposals was earlier this month and the winning firm is expected to be announced by January 2013.
For more information on the Maxey Flats Project, an informative 15-minute open house presentation is available for viewing on the Kentucky Division of Waste Management website. You may also contact:
Shawn Cecil, P.G.
Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection
200 Fair Oaks Lane, 2nd floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: 502-564-6716, ext. 4754