Ada Has App To Track “Fugitive Emissions”



Its happened to all of us: FUGITIVE EMMISSIONS.

Now its official. Something stinks at Ada County–the landfill to be exact, but the odor is just like the fugitive emissions we all know after eating a big burrito.

But wait, there’s more! Ada County government has created an app for your mobile device to track those rotten egg smells which waft out of the land fill in the Foothills. You can report the time, date, location and even the INTENSITY of the smell!

Its all part of a plan to trap the methane gas instead of burning it off. The trapped gas will become passed gas once it goes through a $3.2 million scrubber on its way to being turned into fuel for the electric generators at the landfill.

The complete details follow.

200 West Front Street, Boise, Idaho 83702 – (208)577-4725
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jessica Donald
January 22, 2014 Communications Specialist

“Scrubber” Will Help the Landfill Reduce Odors and Increase Renewable Energy
Now report landfill odors with new online odor reporting app

(Boise, ID) – The Board of Ada County Commissioners recently signed an agreement with Stearns, Conrad and Schmidt Engineers, Inc. (SCS Engineers) of California, to build a Hydrogen Sulfide Gas Scrubber at the Ada County Landfill.

Once operational, the scrubber system will remove Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) from gas that is extracted from the landfill. H2S has an unpleasant odor that is detected by the human nose at very small concentrations, and when combusted, H2S generates sulfur dioxide. By removing H2S, more gas can be drawn from the landfill, which reduces fugitive emissions escaping through the landfill’s surface and at the same time reduces sulfur dioxide emissions. Additionally, by allowing more gas to be drawn, more gas will be available to generate renewable energy. Rather than simply “burning off” excess gas in flares, that gas can power electric generators and create revenue to help offset the $3.2M project. This system will enable the county to more easily manage the landfill gas field, providing a well-balanced and efficient gas collection system.

Currently, the Hydrogen Sulfide Scrubber system is in the design phase, with construction set to begin in July 2014, and completion expected in November of this year.

As part of the ongoing efforts to find better and more efficient methods of controlling landfill odors, Ada County Solid Waste Management is now offering a new odor reporting website application (app). This new online app works on computers as well as tablets and mobile phone devices, and provides a convenient way for county residents with concerns about landfill odors to report, rank the intensity of, and provide comments on any landfill odors they may experience. Upon submitting such information, the website logs the odor location, current weather conditions, and other associated data at the time of the report. This information will then be used for tracking and analyzing odors over time, to help staff determine where odors are being noticed, what conditions contribute to more detectable levels of odor, and what remedies might be available. Odor report app users can also view submissions made by others over the previous seven days for comparison.

Residents are invited to visit the new and improved Ada County Landfill website at and click the “Odor Report App” link on the left to take a look.
While visiting the new website, find a wealth of useful information and facts about the Ada County Landfill, such as information on hazardous waste and recycling programs, educational information and presentations about various aspects of the landfill and its gas-to-energy program benefits, details on the planned closure of the forty-year-old Hidden Hollow landfill cell, and much more!

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Why is that they can generate power from their Methane gas at the landfill, but they don’t do that at Boise’s Waste Water Treatment plants ?

    I’ve been told that it is not cost effective to do that at the WWTP’s so they just burn it off. So why is it different for the land fill?

  2. Too bad the app wont allow the tracking of smells emanating from other areas local govt. Just sayin

  3. Smells like a Dynamis reincarnation! Instead of “waste to energy” for a cool $2 million now it is “gas to energy” at a cool $3.2 million! Wow, us lucky taxpayers are now going to contribute $5.2 million.

    Thanks, Ullman, Yzaguirre, Tilman! Oh oops Case, Tibbs, Yzaguirre. I can’t seem to keep up same stuff seems to occur on a regular basis.

  4. Foothills Rider
    Jan 23, 2014, 7:18 pm

    @For Real: Dynamis’ $2 million fee was a county “gift” to an unvetted company with no actual history; a “fee” for ‘proprietary construction plans’ with no value at the end of the day. In contrast, Fortistar has been burning methane for some time in what is more of a symbiotic relationship: the landfill creates (stinky) methane, Fortistar recovers some of it to burn, creates some small amount of electricity, reduces smell, generates some revenue…but really a symbiotic use of waste expelled by the landfill, to the benefit of the community (the real “ancillary” partner). Fumes and odors have affected some of the Hill Street and surrounding communities to an excessive degree for some recent years, and community complaints have mounted at the county and DEQ. With or without Fortistar, this odor issue would need to be addressed ($$$) either with scrubbers or some other system. Because Fortistar can benefit in the reclamation of additional methane in conjunction with this scrubber solution, as long as there some cost-sharing arrangement (it is mentioned as cost offset), this seems like a mutual win. Without Fortistar, the cost to remediate the excess odor would be carried fully on the county shoulders. In contrast, Dynamis had NOTHING in it for the county (a very large, private power plant, the benefit being it would burn tires we don’t currently burn nor dump?), and even would eventually control to tipping fees at the landfill (“increase” in trash collection fees), even as they proposed they would be less initially.

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