Chesterfield gas plant could cut landfill stink

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(Map courtesy of Chesterfield County)

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — If you live near the landfill off of Iron Bridge Road in Chesterfield, your nostrils may soon be in for a bit of relief.

The Chesterfield Planning Commission voted Tuesday night to approve a rezoning application that would allow the Shoosmith Brothers Landfill to work with Swift Creek Renewables to install a gas processing facility that will “collect landfill gas from the existing Shoosmith Brothers Landfill and then refine the landfill
gas for distribution.”

According to the website for Swift Creek Renewables the facility will reduce noticeable odors from the landfill significantly – and produce renewable (though not carbon neutral) methane gas for sale.

But while public commenters at the planning meeting were overwhelmingly in support of the plan, some had concerns about a provision that would allow the company to decide between transporting the methane by truck or by pipeline.

“I know that Shoosmith has a lot of smell to it and that’s part of this,” said Joseph Burnsley. “I would ask you strongly to get a pipeline instead of truck transport.”

Burnsley and other residents said they supported the reduction in odor and the capture of landfill gas, which is a significant contributor to global warming. But they also expressed concern that a constant flow of trucks in and out of the plant would defeat the environmental goals of the project.

Proposed paths for the potential 4-inch methane pipeline. (Map courtesy of Chesterfield County)

The company outlined four potential pipeline paths in a document filed with the planning commission, but retained the option to use trucks for transport.

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