Construction Begins Soon at the Maxey Flats Disposal Site

Personnel conduct measurements on one of the trench sumps to be abandoned at the Maxey Flats Disposal Site in Fleming County. Photo: Kentucky Division of Waste Management.
Personnel conduct measurements on one of the trench sumps to be abandoned at the Maxey Flats Disposal Site in Fleming County. Photo: Kentucky Division of Waste Management.

The Commonwealth has entered into a contract with Remedial Construction Services, L.P. (RECON) to abandon the trench sumps at the Maxey Flats Disposal Site. RECON met the qualifications and was the lowest bidder in a sealed bid advertisement, with a bid of approximately $1.1 million.

The work will be funded utilizing the trust fund established for the final closure of the facility and will include abandonment of several structures, including 83 existing sumps, and improvements to previously abandoned sumps for long-term stability beneath the final cap.

“Abandoning the trench sumps is required work in preparing the site for final cap construction,” said Shawn Cecil, project coordinator for the Department for Environmental Protection. “It is also an early action that will serve to eliminate the remaining direct conduits to the waste buried within the low-level radioactive waste landfill. This will ultimately reduce the risk to workers conducting field work during final closure activities.”

The photo to the left illustrates the methods used to install the soon-to-be-abandoned trench sumps. They were simply driven in, which is a crude construction compared to how we would install a well today, with a drilling approach. The photo to the right illustrates the crude construction of the fixture - field constructed with torch-cut slots to allow for water to come into the sump for removal. The primary purpose of the sumps was to dewater and then be in place to dewater again later if the water levels should rise to a sufficient level to cause concern. Photo: Kentucky Division of Waste Management.
The photo to the left illustrates the methods used to install the soon-to-be-abandoned trench sumps. They were simply driven in, which is a crude construction compared to how we would install a well today, with a drilling approach. The photo to the right illustrates the crude construction of the fixture – field constructed with torch-cut slots to allow for water to come into the sump for removal. The primary purpose of the sumps was to dewater and then be in place to dewater again later if the water levels should rise to a sufficient level to cause concern. Photo: Kentucky Division of Waste Management.

The Maxey Flats Disposal Site is a low-level radioactive waste landfill located in Fleming County, approximately nine miles northwest of the city of Morehead. The facility was privately operated from 1963 to 1977, receiving approximately 4.7 million cubic feet of waste containing low levels of radiation.

To ensure proper closure and care, the Commonwealth of Kentucky assumed ownership in 1978 and is obligated by a 1995 Consent Decree to carry out the remaining remediation and monitoring efforts.

The site was added to the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1986. The NPL is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s list of national priority sites among the known or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants throughout the United States.

The remedy selected for the Maxey Flats Disposal Site has included several phases and the site has been under an interim cap for about the last 10 years to allow for natural settling of the material in the landfill. The placement of the final cap is expected to be the last substantial remedial construction effort, after which the site will be subject to ongoing monitoring and maintenance by the Commonwealth.

Efforts to complete the design for the final cap are in progress. Construction of the final cap is scheduled to begin later in 2014.

Trench sumps (soon to be removed) presently protrude out of the synthetic liner at the Maxey Flats Disposal Site. Photo: Kentucky Division of Waste Management.
Trench sumps (soon to be removed) presently protrude out of the synthetic liner at the Maxey Flats Disposal Site. Photo: Kentucky Division of Waste Management.

More information on the Maxey Flats Disposal Site can be found here on the Kentucky Division of Waste Management’s website. You may also contact Shawn Cecil at Shawn.Cecil@ky.gov or 502-564-6716, ext. 4754.

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