By William Thompson: Quay County Sun
The New Mexico Environment Department has approved a permit for the city of Tucumcari to construct and operate a landfill about three miles northeast of town. Tucumcari’s finance director, Marty Garcia, said he expects the new landfill to be operational sometime this fall.
“We put a lot of effort the past 10 years into obtaining a new landfill,” Garcia said. “I’m very pleased we have the permit.”
The state environment department awarded Tucumcari a 20-year solid waste permit to operate the landfill. Garcia said the life expectancy of the landfill should extend many years past the 20-year mark.
“The landfill is about 100 acres,” he said. “If we hadn’t obtained this permit, we would have had to haul our garbage elsewhere and pay for it to be dumped elsewhere.”
New Mexico Environment Secretary Ron Curry issued a press release saying he’s confident the landfill can be operated in a safe manner with “minimal environmental impacts.”
“However,” he said, “due to some black marks in the city of Tucumcari’s past compliance history, I have included tighter review of requirements and other measures to make sure this landfill is operated properly.”
Curry’s press release stated that In addition to a review of the facility after 10 years, a review after just two years will take place.
Curry and Garcia said the “black marks” were instances of violations involving litter blowing out of the current landfill into nearby areas.
Tucumcari’s current landfill was expected to reach its capacity in two years, Garcia said.