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The Lethal Killer You Can’t See or Smell.

Methane gas: landfills and dump sites are a primary source of the tasteless, odorless toxin. They can be danger spots if not properly maintained. Read Transcript


REPORTER: AMERICANS PRODUCE A

LOT OF TRASH IN 2010, 250 TONS.

ALL THE DECOMPOSING WASTE

PRODUCES METHANE.

DECOMPOSING TRASH DOESN'T

DISAPPEAR, IT GOES INTO A

DIFFERENT STATE.

METHANE GAS, CARBON DIOXIDE IS

ANOTHER.

REPORTER: HERE IS WHY

ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCATE FRED

TUTMAN SAYS YOU SHOULD CARE.

IF A DUMP SITE ISN'T MAINTAINS,

METHANE CAN ESCAPE OR INVADE

BASEMENTS OR NEARBY HOMES AND

BUILDINGS.

ONEBLEMS NO

UP.p8EDEDú>

BIGGEST ER: THE

PROBLEM?

METHANE CAN MAKE THINGS GO

BOOM.

IF IT ACCUMULATED IN A SPACE

WHERE THERE IS IGNITION SOURCE.

PILOT LIGHTS FOR WATER AND

HEATER.

HOT RADIATOR, PULL YOUR CAR IN

THE GARAGE.

THOSE HAZARDS IN THE HOUSE WOULD

BE A TYPICAL FLAME.

REPORTER: MICK BUTLER AND

OTHERS KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE TO

FACE METHANE.

THEY EVACUATED 20 HOMES AT FORT

MEADE.

THESE HOMES HAVE SAT EMPTY FOR

EIGHT YEARS.

IT WAS SOMETHING WE NEVER

THOUGHT WE HAD TO DEAL WITH.

I HAD THE FULL CONFIDENCE AT

FORT MEADE.

WE DID THE RIGHT THING.

REPORTER: UNDERNEATH THIS

OFFICIALS FIELD, THEú

DISCOVERED A WORLD WAR II DUMP

SITE, IT CONTAINED A LOT OF

METHANE-GENERATED TRASH.

OPERATIONAL PRACTICE FOR LAND

FILLING, DIG A HOLE, PUT YOUR

WAIST IN THE HOLE.

REPORTER: TODAY'S LANDFILLS

MUST INCLUDE A LINER TO PREVENT

METHANE FROM LEAKING INTO SOIL,

GROUND WATER, PIPES AND

BUILDINGS.

DURING THE 40S, THAT WASN'T THE

CASE.

AS YOU CAN IMAGINE, METHANE

LEVELS SPIKED AROUND THE FIELD.

MY JOB IS TO INSURE THE

SAFETY AND PROTECT OF THE

COMMUNITY.

I FELT IT PERSONALLY IT WAS

IMPORTANT TO DO SOMETHING

PERMANENT.

REPORTER: THAT INCLUDED

EVACUATING FAMILIES BECAUSE OF

EXPLOSIONS AND TRASH NEEDED TO

GO, 27 THOUSAND TONS OR A

THOUSAND TRUCKLOADS.

THEY CAPPED IT OFF AND CONVERTED

IT TO GREEN SPACE.

TOTAL COST, TWO AND A HALF

MILLION DOLLARS.

LEADERS AT FORT MEADE THOUGHT IT

WAS IMPORTANT.

YOU CAN'T GET ANYMORE -- AS A

FATHER, AS A PERSON SAFETY OF

THOSE OCCUPANTS WAS PRIME ON

YOUR LIST.

COULDN'T HAVE GOTTEN ANY WORSE.

REPORTER: WHAT ARE SOLUTIONS

TO PREVENT METHANE FROM

LANDFILLS FROM HARMING PEOPLE

AND ENVIRONMENT.

THE METHANE GENERATED FROM

DECAYING TRASH IS RECLAIMED OR

HARNESSED AND USED TO HEAT

ANOTHER AREA FACILITY.

SOME SITES ARE HARVESTING THE

GAS.

THERE IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO USE

THIS COMBUSTIBLE GAS TO GENERATE

ENERGY, POWER, RUN AUTOMOBILES,

FOR POWER GENERATION, BASICALLY.

GENERALLY IT IS ELECTRICITY

OF SOME TYPE, PUTTING IT BACK ON

THE GRID OR USING IT TO RUN

BUILDINGS CLOSE BY.

REGARDLESS IF IT IS HARNESSED

OR REUSED, METHANE NEEDS TO BE

CONTROLLED.

AS THEY CONTINUE TO MONITOR

METHANE LEVELS, ENVIRONMENTEDAL

LEADERS AT FORT MEADE HOPE TO

PUT RESIDENTS BACK IN THE HOMES.

TO EDUCATE

YOURSELF.

VISIT STATE AND LOCAL LANDFILLS

TO SEE IF IT IS TRULY SECURE.

MARK MARTIN, CBN NEWS, MARYLAND.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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