‘Where is the $90,000 owed to Macomb County by Mark Hackel’s favorite contractor for free and illegal dumping at the closed Freedom Hill landfill?’

A Statement by Warren Mayor James Fouts

‘Where is the $90,000 owed to Macomb County by Mark Hackel’s favorite contractor for free and illegal dumping at the closed Freedom Hill landfill?’

“Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel gave his approval for his favorite contractor to illegally dump at least 150,000 yards of road excavation at the Freedom Hill closed landfill without any required permits or approval. He did not have any written agreement with the contractor for the illegal dumping

“Consequently, the contractor did not pay the county or the SMDA for this cost-saving dumping. In other words, it was free dumping.

“Had the contractor taken the excavated materials to a landfill, he would have had to pay at least $6 a yard to a landfill costing at least $90,000 plus transport costs.”

“I would like to commend the SMDA Board for passing a resolution at its November 30, 2016 not to pay for any clean-up costs; instead, the Board recommended that any clean-up costs be billed to the contractor or Mr. Hackel’s office since Mr. Hackel gave the contractor permission to illegally dump at the landfill.”

Excerpts from: Corrective Action Plan for Freedom Hill Landfill prepared by Anderson, Eckstein, and Westrick, Inc. and TRC Environmental Corporation (November 30, 2016)

The need for corrective action is due to a separate and unapproved action which is described below.

During the summer and fall of 2016, two berms were constructed on Freedom Hill Landfill; one along the west landfill limits and one along the south and east landfill limits. The construction of these berms has compromised (damaged or removed) a substantial number of the remediation assets and created a number of uncontrolled leachate outbreaks. Therefore, the following describes the necessary corrective actions to restore the assets, stop the leachate outbreaks, and reshape the cap in a manner required by the regulations.”

Stop Existing Seeps – At our on-site visit with TRC, MDEQ (Greg Barrows) on Thursday, November 17, 2016, approximately 12 seeps were identified.

High Levels of Methane Along the West Property Line – High levels of methane were measured at three monitoring wells along the west property line during the semi-annual monitoring event performed in early November. The first action will be to determine how far the methane has migrated in the soil to the west onto the Bethesda Christian Church property.

Gas Vent Disturbance – During the filling of low spots and construction of the berms, several of the vents were disturbed and the nozzles (for measuring methane levels) and ports (for measuring leachate levels) were covered.

Grading Issues – The berm that was constructed on the east and south edge of the Freedom Hill landfill is approximately 15 feet high. The berm appears to have a front (north and west side) slope of about a 1 on 3, about a 15 to 20 foot flat top, and a 1 on 2 to 2 ½ back (south and east side) slope. Maintenance maximum slope is 1 on 3.

Fill Over Trees and Tree Wells That Were Planted as Part of the Remediation Plan – During the construction of the berms, several of the TreeWell Systems were covered or damaged. Also, seeps were occurring at some tree well locations and the wells and trees were excavated and backfilled with certified clean clay to stop the seeps. Due to the pressure of the berm on the waste below, it is anticipated that approximately 30 to 40 additional TreeWell Systems will be installed.