Contaminated dirt pile at Platte River Commons being transported off-site

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CASPER, Wyo. — A pile of contaminated soil at the Platte River Commons is being transported to the City of Casper Regional Landfill.

In order to safely move the dirt, it is being wrapped and put into trucks with lining to prevent spillage during transportation.

The efforts to move the dirt were discussed during the Amoco Reuse Agreement Joint Powers Board meeting Wednesday, June 12.

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The soil became contaminated from activity at the former Amoco oil refinery, which closed in 1991. The ARAJPB was formed after the Amoco Reuse Agreement was adopted in 1998 to fund and oversee clean-up efforts there.

ARAJPB Executive Director Renee Hahn said the clean-up efforts to move the dirt pile are expected to cost about a half a million dollars.

“It’s a slow process,” she said.

Hahn said that British Petroleum has indicated they are willing to split costs related with clean-up of the dirt pile with ARAJPB.

Since that commitment has not been made official and the timing for when ARAJPB would receive those funds is unclear, board member Ben Schrader suggested that an additional $200,000 be set aside for the project.

The board approved this proposal, meaning that about $500,000 have been budgeted for the clean-up efforts.

The dirt pile has been on site for over three years, Hahn said, coming from some building construction in the area. ARAJPB initially left the dirt pile on site for potential use when constructing conference center space at the Platte River Commons.

But with the Clarion Inn at Platte River set to open and provide convention space to Casper, ARAJPB won’t be moving forward on a convention space concept, so the board decided to move the pile off-site.

City Councilman Bob Hopkins sits on the ARAJPB board and said that the landfill is lined, so keeping the dirt there should not be an issue.

Hahn said she expects the transportation efforts to take about three more weeks.

“It’s good that it is getting done,” ARAJPB Chair Reed Merschat said.