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City of Geneva Says Methane Present Outside Landfill, East of Nagel Boulevard

The report says the gas was discovered in a Batavia industrial site, but there has been no indication of methane gas spreading toward Geneva.

The city of Geneva reports in its e-mailed newsletter and website that probes have found methane gas beyond the former Settler's Hill and Midway landfill sites.

The methane was reported to the city of Geneva over the weekend of Dec. 17-18, discovered by a probe in an industrial park east of Nagel Boulevard. The probe had been installed along Raddant Road, about 100 yards south of Fabyan Parkway in Batavia, according to the city report.

The report says, "There has been no indication of methane gas spreading toward Geneva."

The former Midway Landfill is located north of Fabyan Parkway in the area of the former Kane County Jail and adjacent to the Settler's Hill facility. As part of the planning and operation of Settler's Hill, Waste Management monitors both sites because methane gas can be produced "in large quantities" by the decomposition that naturally occurs in landfills, the city report states.

On Dec. 1, Waste Management notified the county that methane gas has been found periodically outside the footprint of the old landfill. These detections were found in a deep formation below the landfill under very low pressure, all north of Fabyan Parkway.

Buildings in the industrial park on Raddant do not have basements or underground structures where methane may accumulate, Geneva reports.

Here is the balance of the information provided by Geneva officials.

Based on testing to date, the methane appears to be present east of Nagel Boulevard. This is the first indication that gas has traveled off the county-owned property. It is also important to know the gas is below a thick layer of clay that extends over a wide area but tapers in thickness as it extends to the south and west toward the Fox River. This acts to block the migration of the gas toward the surface.

Gas probes installed in the Batavia Highlands area have not indicated the presence of methane. Additional readings will be taken over the coming days to establish a base of data for analysis.

While there is a network of probes around Settler's Hill, additional probes have been installed between Midway and the Fox Run development to insure this is still the case. To date, neither the new nor existing probes along the west and north boundaries of the site have given any indication of the presence of methane gas.

Fire Department staff members have taken several readings from the catch basins and manholes located in Fox Run, Ridgewood and Chalmers areas, and nothing was found. Monitoring on all sites continues on a daily basis and Waste Management is in regular communication with Batavia, Geneva, Kane County and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency regarding the results of the tests.

Waste Management has begun working on a longer-term plan to resolve the methane issue completely. The company is expanding its monitoring and gas extraction systems by installing a series of deeper gas monitoring probes to detect methane in the deep geologic unit beneath the Midway Landfill. It also is installing gas extraction wells, which will be used to capture methane that has migrated beyond waste areas. These improvements will increase the site's ability to collect the methane and convey it to the center of the facility where it can be used as fuel to generate electricity.

As an extra public-safety measure, Waste Management will be installing additional monitoring probes. If methane is detected in any area with structures that have basements, partial basements or crawl spaces, the company will expand the monitoring into those buildings, working closely with fire and public works officials in that community.

The company has established a telephone line for residents who may have questions. The toll-free number is 1-855-964-4663. The public may also obtain information on the City of Batavia and Kane County websites. Updated information will continue to be posted on the city of Geneva website as it becomes available.

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