Department of Ecology hopes to have final cleanup plan for Pasco - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Department of Ecology hopes to have final cleanup plan for Pasco landfill by end of the year

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PASCO, WA. -- There's been a lot of news about the Hanford radioactive waste site lately. But Friday, the Department of Ecology was talking about another hazardous waste site, the Pasco landfill.

The Department of Ecology believes they've finally put out an underground fire that's been smoldering for years at the Pasco landfill. Now the next step is developing a plan to permanently clean up the hazardous waste at the old waste site. 

"The waste that was brought in were both municipal waste, kind of your average homeowner domestic kind of waste, but they also brought in, in the 70's, for about a three year period, they brought in industrial hazardous wastes," Chuck Gruenenfelder said. 

Included in that waste is metals, herbicides, pesticides and other hazardous materials. Friday was about public input and information. The meeting was organized by Scot Adams from the Academy of Certified Hazardous Material Managers. 

"There's nothing like a final decision going to be made," Adams said. "We're in the middle of process, well, toward the end of the process actually. And they'll tell us how the public can get involved."

There's more than 30 groups involved in dumping at the site. All have responsibility to help with cleanup. After nearly 20-years of working toward cleanup, Department of Ecology says they're getting close to a final action plan.

"We're moving now into a phase called a focus feasibility study," Gruenenfelder said. "And the focus feasibility study will involve identification of possible cleanup remedies for this site that could become the final cleanup remedy."

Gruenenfelder says an underground plume of contamination has stretched a mile and a half toward the Columbia River but has not reached the waters edge. 

The Department of Ecology expects to have a focus feasibility study complete sometime later this year. They'll then ask for comment at public meetings before moving forward with a final cleanup plan.