The results are in, and it’s good news. In all homes where the indoor air was sampled, the chemicals that were tested for were not detected. This indicates the former Montfort landfill is not impacting the indoor air quality of adjacent homes in the Highland Green area.
Testing of the former Montfort landfill site has been taking place over the past year after results from initial investigations in 2014 showed potential for some landfill related effects to both the groundwater and soil vapour in the immediate vicinity of the former landfill site. The former Montfort landfill site was one of eight former landfill sites in Red Deer that were tested as part of a City initiated project to better understand the potential impacts former landfills can have on the environment and nearby properties.
“Like many communities, we have a number of sites in our community that were once used for landfilling, and over time, development has happened around these sites,” said Tim Ainscough, Environmental Services Manager. “Testing of these former sites, such as the one in Highland Green, is important as we work to understand what impact, if any, former landfill sites can have on the environment and nearby properties.”
The initial results did not include test results showing that adjacent properties were directly impacted. However, because we know that in some cases landfill gases can migrate through soil and collect in confined spaces The City chose to retain a consultant who undertook a more in depth process to fully understand what impact chemicals stemming from the former landfill site, if any, could have on properties and people living near the former landfill.
This testing occurred between December 2016 and March 2017 in an effort to collect information and samples across all seasons. While there are always chemicals that can be found in any groundwater and soil vapour, testing focused on measuring volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and methane at concentrations that could be harmful to people or property.
Testing included probes and wells on the former landfill site itself, and in selected backyards directly adjacent to the site. The final phase of testing occurred between March 8 and 14 with in-home air quality sampling of 10 properties that were selected based on their proximity to the former landfill site. In all cases, test results showed no chemicals from the former landfill site, in a concentration that could be harmful to people or property.
“Safety is our first priority, and despite the fact that we had no conclusive test results to indicate that people’s property was directly impacted by the former landfill at Montfort, it is possible for landfill gases to migrate through soil and collect in confined spaces; therefore, this testing was absolutely necessary to ensure there were no chemicals of a concentration that could be harmful to people living in the area,” said Ainscough.
Throughout the process, The City of Red Deer worked with Alberta Health Services and Alberta Environment and Parks to determine where and how best to implement testing in the area. While no further indoor air testing is planned, further environmental monitoring will be conducted in 2017. The final report, compiling the seasonal data yet to be collected and the indoor air testing results and other results collected in March, is expected to be completed in Spring 2018.
A letter sharing the results was distributed to all residents in Highland Green who live within 100 metres of the former landfill site. The full report, with detailed test results, is posted to The City’s website at www.reddeer.ca/landfillassessment. Residents with questions are encouraged to contact The City of Red Deer Environmental Services at 403-342-8750.
For more information, please contact:
Tim Ainscough, P. Eng.
Environmental Services Manager
The City of Red Deer
Communications & Strategic Planning
The City of Red Deer