Idaho had 85 landfills, according to Katie Sewell, solid waste coordinator in the state department of environmental quality; by summer, that will be down to 30, and most of the panhandle counties will ship their trash to big landfills in eastern Washington. Idaho has a couple of problem landfills. But these are more a result of industrial-mining residues than household waste.
Wyoming has regulated landfills
since 1975, said Carl Anderson, regional supervisor for solid
waste, and as the EPA proposed regulations, the state adopted
Thus, few problems are anticipated with its
77 operating landfills. About a quarter of these, Anderson said,
are in places so arid that they are exempt from monitoring, even
under the new rules: "You can't pollute the groundwater if there
isn't any groundwater."
As for isolated
ranchers, "they can still dump their trash on their property, just
as they always have."
Utah is a different story;
dumps were not regulated by the state, so there wasn't even an
inventory before the EPA told the states to start writing
"Some were pretty disgusting,"
according to Ralph Bahn, solid waste section manager in the
department of environmental quality. "You'd see 200 yards of dead
cows, or they were on fire all the time. But I don't know of any
that were causing any groundwater pollution."
Some counties complain that the new regulations
are too expensive, Bahn noted, but "these are counties that never
spent 50 cents on their dumps before - no fence, no attendants,
nothing - so it's hard to take them seriously."
Of the estimated 130 landfills operating
recently in Utah, perhaps 40 will remain, Bahn
Montana's state government is pushing big
regional landfills such as those at Great Falls and Missoula, both
operated by private companies.
environmental specialist in the licensing unit of the state solid
waste program, said about 80 dumps have been operating; the state
is reviewing their licenses with an eye toward
Montana's only major dump problem
is a landfill at Butte, he said, and that's industrial waste,
rather than household waste.
geologist in the solid waste bureau of New Mexico's environmental
department, said his state is reviewing 90 landfills, "and at least
a dozen of them will be closed."
with the review is that there are a couple of suspicious
operations, Beardsley said, "but we don't have good baseline data
to show whether or not they're polluting."
the other hand, he said, "there are counties like Catron County
which were doing things right, but still can't afford to meet the
new regulations, which are going to create some hardships."
The state is encouraging rural counties to
create joint disposal districts; a district would operate one
state-of-the-art landfill, with transfer stations scattered through
Colorado had 108 landfills, and
about a third of them will close, said Glenn Mallory, section chief
of the solid waste program in the state health
The only rural landfill that
definitely leaked, he said, was one near Milliken in Weld County
(HCN, 9/20/93), and that was not operated by a public entity. Among
the others, there are "some we suspect," but there's no evidence