The Douglas County Board of Commissioners received more information about petroleum-contaminated soil being brought to a Nebraska landfill Tuesday.

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Waste from a Keystone Pipeline leak in Kansas last year is being stored at the Pheasant Point Landfill near Benington. Environmental Services Director Kent Holms told the Board last week that an analysis found that the community would be safe from pollutants, but commissioners asked for more information.

This week, Waste Management—which operates the landfill—submitted documents detailing the landfill’s protections along with a summary of the soil analysis. Waste approval manager Josh Buehre said the analysis by Pace Analytical, a third party lab in Kansas City, found it to be safe. 

Buehre said that benzene—one of the main carcinogenic pollutants associated with oil spills—was measured at its highest concentration at 79 parts per million, well under the federal regulatory limit of 500 parts per million. The soil will continue to be analyzed as more comes in. 

Waste Management area disposal manager Mike Hey said it’s not unusual for the landfill to bring in petroleum-contaminated soil. He said they could’ve chosen from other landfills in Kansas, but chose Pheasant Point because it’s a larger facility that is a similar distance from the spill.

“It’s just economics,” Hey said. “The further the waste has to go, it makes it more expensive to do the clean up.”

Hey said about 48,000 cubic yards of waste has been brought to Pheasant Point so far, and he said that number may double. Holms said last week that the county would receive $3 per ton of waste and the state would receive $1.25.

The Omaha City Council also met Tuesday for a brief meeting. Emily O’Connor from Lockwood Development gave an update on the Crossroads redevelopment project ahead of next week’s vote on funding for public infrastructure improvements.

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O’Connor said demolition and grading on the site are complete, and they’re currently working on paving internal streets. Next week, the City Council will vote on a $5 million agreement to begin paving, utility and sewer improvements along Dodge, Cass, and 75th Streets. With approval, she said public improvements would likely be complete by the end of the year.

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