"Melting Alaska Permafrost Prompts Landfill Concerns"

"Fearing numerous villages may be at risk of toxic releases as landfills erode and thawing permafrost undercuts tank farms, state environmental managers have embarked on a massive effort to address the growing potential for pollution faced by some 100 communities across Alaska."

"Funded with a $1.4 million federal grant, the new effort will be unprecedented in scale, at least for the state's solid waste program. Officials will work with spill-prevention crews to assess the villages firsthand starting this summer, said Kristin Ryan, director of environmental health.

Villages and agencies tend to focus on installing or maintaining water and wastewater systems in rural Alaska, multi-million dollar amenities that numerous villages still lack. Less attention is given to the landfill problem, an issue that's become increasingly important as tundra crumbles amid warming temperatures, officials said."

Alex DeMarban reports for the Alaska Dispatch March 19, 2012.

Source: Alaska Dispatch, 03/21/2012