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State Plans To Resume Leachate Cleanup Thursday From Truck Spill In Coventry

A man stands above a landfill pit.
Jane Lindholm
VPR File
The Coventry landfill, pictured here in a 2015 file photo, is the only operational landfill in the state of Vermont. A tanker hauling leachate from the landfill crashed and spilled thousands of gallons of the chemical on Friday.

State officials hope by Thursday to resume cleaning up about 8,000 of gallons of leachate that spilled in Coventry last week. Leachate is created when water seeps through trash.

A tanker hauling the chemical from the state's only operational landfill crashed into another truck at about 2:55 a.m. Friday near the intersection of U.S. Route 5 and Vermont Route 14. The driver of the truck hit by the tanker was injured and taken to the hospital, according to state police.

Police believe icy roads were the the primary cause of the crash.

Shawn Donovan, with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, said cleanup began after the crash but recent weather conditions have delayed the work.

“At this point, our primary objective is to excavate impacted soils ... to remove that source and prevent any further migration of the leachate material,” Donovan said Tuesday.

And Donovan said he doesn't expect the spill to spread: “At this point we do believe that the subsurface impacted soils are in a fairly discreet area, even given the amount of volume released. We don't see this hitting groundwater and migrating with groundwater at this point.”

The nearby Black River hasn't been affected, according to Donovan.

Casella Waste Systems, the operator of the Coventry landfill, said they don’t own either of the trucks involved in the crash. Casella Vice President Joseph Fusco said the trucks were operated by contractors.

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