Durham County

07/25 What you’re saying: Maggie Meyers

Landfill leachate

What do bacteria, mercury, viruses, lead and unstable organic compounds have in common? They’re all things Rep. Jimmy Dixon of Duplin County, sponsor of House Bill 576, wants to spray into the atmosphere.

The aerosolization of leachate – or, in layman’s terms, pumping the liquid that leaches out of landfill waste into a giant hairspray-can-like device to be blasted into the air like TRESemmé – might be great for landfill owners, who would be able to reduce the pesky cost of disposing of leachate in a traditional (read: tested and safe) manner. Unfortunately, it might not be so great for the rest of us. Toxic particles draining from prescription medications, dirty diapers, batteries, electronics, and chemical cleaners could soon be flying through the air and into the lives of North Carolinians who work, reside, or attend schools near landfills.

Contact your legislators and tell them that the health and environmental dangers of leachate aerosolization must be thoroughly studied. The legislature shouldn’t mandate its approval in House Bill 576. Scientists – not politicians like Rep. Dixon – should be the ones to decide whether aerosolization is worth the risk.

Maggie Meyers