Dump runoff levels ‘safe’

| 16/06/2014

(CNS): Despite widespread concerns that the George Town landfill is leaching unsafe levels of pollutants into the North Sound, the head of the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has said this is not the case. Answering questions in Finance Committee last week, Roydell Carter said the latest results from tests conducted in the US on the leaching from the dump fall well within the “established safe parameters", and he assured MLAs that the results do not support the claim that there is noxious waste leaching into North Sound. The minister with responsibility for the dump admitted that there had been serious mismanagement of equipment in the DEH and Department of Vehicle & Equipment Services and said people would be held accountable.

With the landfill a critical issue in the Ministry of Health, Sports, Youth, and Culture, Minister Osbourne Bodden and the DEH director fielded many questions from the committee, especially from the opposition benches, about the current situation and future plans.

Bodden admitted a catalogue of problems regarding poor maintenance and mismanagement of major equipment but he committed to addressing these past issues going forward. He said equipment had been broken for some time, and with no budget to replace it the department was force to spend public cash hiring the relevant machines. The minister agreed with East End MLA Arden McLean, as he probed about what was happening, that the cause was a failure of staff to stick to proper maintenance schedules.

Bodden said he was going to make sure that these questions would not be asked again in the next Finance Committee as he revealed the DEH was hiring a fleet manager with knowledge of equipment to ensure that things changed.

“It will not be business as usual,” he said as he emphasized the need to properly take care of equipment that is used in such a stressful environment. He pointed out that many of the problems in the current collection and management of waste would be addressed in the forthcoming policy and subsequent tender for a new system, but said that in the meantime the dump could not be left in abeyance; rubbish still had to be properly managed.

He noted that the lack of funds in the budget to keep coving the landfill had contributed to the recent fire and that this was a false economy. Bodden made it clear that there were many problems with management of waste in general as well as with the management of equipment and he was now aware of what they all were, which was why it was so important to get the future plan right. He said he was learning nothing new from the issues being raised about the dump problems and the criticism coming from the opposition benches.

“We have a plan moving forward to correct it all and manage it the best way we can,” he told the committee. In the meantime, he said, equipment is expected in August and September to replace the broken down machines and the department has budgeted for marl to keep the dump covered to reduce the risk of further fires.

Although the almost $3.2 million line item for managing garbage was passed by the committee, the opposition leader registered his objection to the more than $2 million the ministry was receiving as part of a $4.6 million equity injection to cover the cost of the EIA for the dump as well as for the much need machinery. McKeeva Bush said there were more than enough reports on the dump and government did not need to spend any more money on them.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Mac been drinking that stuff for years and it never did him no harm.

  2. tellmenah says:

    Please educate yourself about PCB's and  Electronic waste hazards. How is any ofit safe? We know what is covered over in the landfill.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well I suppose three eyed fish might be a tourist attraction.  For hard core Simpsons fans.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The recycling people on dump road hope you remember us and bring us your unwanted stuff

    Perhaps you will find something you are looking for while you are visiting

    That said we process A/C,s  e waste, drink cans, batterys, cardboard, pallets, boat parts Lumber, old lighting, car parts, dive tanks, cell phones, computers, plastic buckets and a few other items       

  5. Daytimer says:

    The Green Water is moving further up the sound and has been for years. Talk to anyone who has been here and on that water for more then 20 yrs and they will tell you. Soon the green water will wash onto the reef and then see what you have for a tourist product. I very big concern to the economic lives of many people. Government needs to stop pandering to small groups and actually do something for the country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ignore the troll that trolled your comment. There is nothing silly or false about your comment. Stop all the talking CIG and do SOMETHING about the dump before it is too late!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Isn't the better question whether it is safer than the effects of moving it to the much better site in Bodden Town?  Or would that question produce a politically inexpedient answer for Ossie and Alden?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I see The Developer has been busy with the comments. So predictable. It must be incredibly frustrating, I mean despite all the propoganda in the McCompass, the lolly shelled out for fancy photo inserts, and all that mega-bucks stuff. And all for nothing.  Listen up, chump : all the money in the world 'ain't gonna move no dump into Bodden Town. Get used to it and move on.

  8. Mark Hennings says:

    Move that stinking dump Ozzie! Good location for one of  our 15 MW solar plants though………. To forward thinking for you guys?

    • Anonymous says:

      Solar energy is a great idea if you can afford it for your own home, or use power during the day, but it is not yet a true alternative to traditional generation methods.  That is because it feeds low voltage power back into a neighbourhood grid at wrong place and the wrong time of the day, peak power feeds in with the sun's zenith 11am-3pm, not in the late afternoon and evening when people demand the most electrical power.  Until humans can develop a supercapacitator battery to store that power for later, it's not much use to anyone else and can cause power fluctuations whihc can damage the grid.  It's becoming a big problem in some communities.  Case in point: fearing a glut of mid-day power from solar panels, Hawaii's power monopoly, Heco, has refused to hook up some residents to the grid.  Story in BBC this past week.  

      • Mark Hennings says:

        79% of Germany's power at midday two months ago at 12 noon was supplied by renewable power, It can be done.

        where there is will there is way.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes Mark, but lets face it this is Cayman, we will never be as efficient as the Germans, we are too Americanized for that!


        • Fred the Piemaker says:

          where there is government subsidy there is a way

    • Fa-SolAr-TiDo says:

      Oh Mark, please stop with the belligerent steam roller. Your (alleged) 3 million will go down the drain if you butt heads in this manner. Your vision is good, your strategy sucks. 

    • Anonymous says:

      You punks in Camana Bay go figure out the difference between "to" and 'too" before you start telling Caymanians what to do, okay, sportsfans?

  9. Mark Hennings says:

    O geez, what a relief, all is well in the Cayman Islands. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    And welcome to The Cancer Islands!

    • Archie Buck Dem Up says:

      CNS the question as to the type(s) of test conducted need to be asked. We need to know if the proper tests were conducted not just say so by people who run the show. Roydell must be really having a good laugh. Got away again. Oh these  fe larking politicos.

      • Anonymous says:

        Roydell Carter knows as much about this contaminated caustic waste run-off  as much as he knows about these roach coach ( food wagons) running around selling food that is not being checked, or monitored by his department.

        Does Roydell do a mandatory check on where this food is being prepared??

  11. pmilburn says:

    No way is that run off SAFE.Typical reply from a Govt department clutching at straws.

  12. Anon says:

    Right! Just like the waterquality at turtle farm – right smack in the middle of those safe parameters. 

  13. Anonymous says:

    In summary: the DEH that hasn't cared enough to seek the required instruments to determine if the dump smoke is harmful, or maintain equipment, or secure normal fire suppression tools, has assured us it's all fine and dandy, and moreover that the toxic leachate levels are acceptable.  But look at our shiny new trucks!  

    GT Land Fill is an open cell without any acceptible leachate storage and treatment that would be designed to cater for the rain intensity of our region under USA REG 40 CFR Part 258 (Clause 258.26) concerning minimum Criteria for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills – let alone stormwater containment or achieve minimum MSL found in those regs.  The absence of a functional basal liner, nor leachate containment or treatment plan, would be illegal in Florida, and violate USEPA reg's back to 1991.  Having driven up/down the Harquail for years, I doubt GT landfill would be in compliance of REG 40 CFR 60.752 in regards to Landfill Gas System. 

    Was anyone in the LA awake enough to request the date (and preceding month's rainfall data) and locations on which Roydell Carter's samples were taken for submission to US labs?  I'm going to take a wild guess that the latest leachate data was assembled a few months ago on the driest day of one of the driest winters in memory.  Perhaps CNS could FOI that for everyone. 

    CNS: Can you email me at nickywatson@caymannewsservice.com?

    • Anonymous says:

      So, from a legal standpoint a crime might be being committed against Grand Cayman residents and unsuspected visitors.  Are there any interrnational law that could be appied (in the absense of local regulations)?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Why don't you caymanians stop whining and stand up and do something about it. 

    Then make the right choices of products you buy and consume.

    dont keep expecting someone else to do it for you!

    you all need to learn that government is not going to keep paying you or taker care of you they are no longer capable of taking care of these islands.


    • Joe B says:

      Because that would take real work by real professionals.  Here we just have suitably qualified, honorable for life, and under investigations.  Get used to it Bobo.

  15. Anonymous says:

    What the fuss all about. Does anyone ever read what is written?

    It simply says the test were conducted in the US. So obviously it was not done here. 

    Of course I am being as sarcastic as possible. Please explain how test can be done for leach by doing it in another country. Are you telling me the same money could not afford them a ticket and a deep well drill to sink it down and carry out the respective test here on Island on the spot?

    That DEH stinks XXXX, and the results prove it over and over. Can we please start knocking heads of department when they keep doing the same useless thing over and over.  Both areas are a drag andan embarassment to the Cayman Islands.


    You can google the word incompetence and see exactly what it means.

    • Diogenes says:

      Please explain how test can be done for leach by doing it in another country.  You take some leachate samples, put them in a jar, and send them to a lab in the US.  Of course, where and when you take the samples is a different story. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    Too funny these two muppets are too stupid to be embarrassed by their comments especially when there exists 20 years worth of reports that clearly state the potential damage to the North Sound. Can they give us details like who provides the rental heavy equipment for $35,000 monthly and how long this has been going on? XXXX

  17. Anonymous says:

    Take each of the "officials" involved in this report out to the area 50 feet from where you can clearly see the fumes in the water and make them jump in and stay for 15 minutes.  I promis you not one will get off the boat.  I hope when the truth comes out on this one in the next 2 years that these people will be hung from the highest tree!  Wake Up!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Yeah like we gonna believe anything they say

  19. MEM says:

    If it was unsafe… would they even admit it and tell us? Or would they hide it in order to avoid the public uproar? I trust no report provided by our Government, it is always missing details or conducted in a manner that always misses some very serious detail!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Never heard such bulls@$t"…."…

  21. Naya Boy says:

    Is that why it Glows at night Mann the only difference between the government and the mafia is size. If its safe let the government DEH and Minister Bodden use it to bathe with first?

  22. Anonymous says:

    I would ask all DEM elected members to go swim in the North Sound close to the dump and see if they go for it.  Safe-  why not publish the actual data on your findings or better yet go ask a truly independent group to do research.  This is important and most bottled water on island comes from north sound- DE- SAL plants.  Looks like me have to leave dis ya place before my kids have 15 fingers and  15 toes each from this pollution.  Lord  PLEASE HELP THE CAYMAN ISLANDS.  MOTHER BRITIAN PLEASE TAKE OVER- PLEASE PLEASE TAKE US OVER- PLEASE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Anonymous says:

    It would be interesting to know who owns the equipment that the dump is renting at a nice tidy profit. 


    It would also be interesting to know the relationship between the rental equipment ownersand thefolks who do not maintain the dump's equipment.

  24. SKEPTICAL says:

    I have a house on the water just East of Harbour House Marina. I would like Mr Carter to come and look at the 18 inches of smelly brown and cream froth that appears off the sea wall after a good "Norther" has been blowing for a couple of days. When we moved in, in the very early 80's, you could see juvenile fish of at least twenty species together with crabs and baby lobsters – now, it is virtually barren. 

  25. Anonymous says:

    They also said asbestos are safe.

    NEVER trust the people that are responsible.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is it okay to drink?

      • Anonymous says:

        Do you really really think they are going to tell you it is not safe??? I don't think so

    • Archie Buck Dem Up says:

      Here we go again, everything is Beautiful in Paradise Islands, say what? So says the PPM, good nite!

    • Anonymous says:

      They also said diethylstilbestrol,  AKA the morning after pill or DES  was safe too.  Look at all the deformed DES babies.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Take a look at the scum leaching into North Sound and wake up for God's sake.

  27. Anonymous says:

    And accountability? Really? In Cayman? I will believe it the day CNS tells us about large fines, criminal damage charges and firings ( not a multiple choice)

  28. Phil Theelyers says:

    Well done to the government.

    Looking out for us as usual.  I am so thankful to Alden that his government isnot dysfunctional like the previous bunch. In fact, I think they are actually over-achieving.

    Perhaps we should give them a raise? 

    • Anonymous says:

      You can give them a raise…..and over-achieving? Are you new to Cayman? Geez.

  29. Anonymous says:

    yeah, right!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone expected to hear that it is not safe? It would have been funny if it was not tragic.

    A little bit of poison in your food ,water and air each day, everyday won't harm you, it is within safe levels after all. And  Sheety hospital will include oncology facility. NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT.

  31. Anonymous says:

    More utter BULL$HIT from DEH and Minister Bodden

  32. Anonymous says:

    2017 elections can come fast enough !!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Dare we ask what "established safe parameters"?