The Real Dirt


Kenneth J. Welch

DEPOSITION REVIEW

1184 (6-8) Q:  And when did you begin -- and sorry. This was with Biggs & Mathews Environmental, Incorporated?

 A: Yes.

 Q:  And later you transitioned out of this role, and Kerry Maroney took over as engineer of record. Correct?

 A:  Yes.

 

1196 (1-9) Q: And you were also the engineer of record for the Pintail Landfill application.Isn't that right?

  A:  Yes.

  Q:  And in Pintail, wasn't that also the case; that is, that in Pintail, Parts 1 and 2 of the application were submitted in order to attempt to get something on file before the county had an opportunity to pass a landfill siting ordinance?

  A:  Yes.

 

1196 (22) Q:  Starting on about -- let's see -- on Line 9,

 you're asked whether any solid waste landfill

 authorization amendment application that you've worked

 on, prepared, and sealed as an engineer has ever been denied by TCEQ, and your answer is no.  Do you see that?

  A:  Yes.

  Q:  But, again, you were the engineer of record for Pintail.  Isn't that right?

  A:  Yes.  And that application was returned by TCEQ.

  Q:  Okay.  And that return -- it was returned, but that was not based on Pintail or your request for a return.  Isn't that right?

  A:  I believe Pintail requested of SOAH that the application be remanded to TCEQ.

  Q:  And after it was remanded, TCEQ returned the application.  Isn't that right?

  A:  That is correct.  However, the application was not denied; it was simply returned.

  Q:  And did Pintail ask that the application be returned?

  A:  No.

 

 

1208 (7-17):

 Q  Have you ever had any meetings with Caldwell County officials or Staff?

 A:  I have not.

 Q:  Have you ever had any meetings with Polonia Water Supply?

 A:  I have not.

 Q:  What about with Lockhart Independent SchoolDistrict?

 A:  I have not.

 Q:  The City of Lockhart?

 A:  No.

1220 (16-21) Q:  Okay.  Were you aware that the -- that the dam has been designated as high hazard?

  A:  I have heard that, yes.

  Q:  When did you first hear that?

  A:  I don't recall.

  Q:  Was it during this hearing?

  A:  I mean, I did definitely heard it during this hearing, yes.

  Q:  Okay.  Had you heard it before?

  A:  I don't recall.

  Q:  Okay.  If that had been made known to you either during the -- your meeting with Plum Creek or via review of documents related to the dam, is thatsomething you might have remembered?

  A:  I would think so.

  Q:  Isn't it true that you were provided with the original construction plans for that dam?

  A:  I recall seeing the original construction plans for that dam.  At what point in time, I don't recall.

 

1222 (1-23) Q Who would know the answer to those questions related to correspondence or communications between 130 Environmental Park and TCEQ and the requirement for a

 floodplain development permit?

  A: I would think either Kerry Maroney or Tyson Traw would know that answer.

  Q: Okay.  So earlier we talked about your initial site visit, or observations of the site, as you were preparing Parts 1 and 2.  During those observations, were you made aware of, or did you observe yourself, this Site 21 reservoir and dam?

  A: I did observe the Site 21 reservoir and dam.

  Q: And after you observed the Site 21 reservoir and dam, did you attempt to obtain more information related to that dam?

  A: Yes.  We did have a meeting with Plumb Creek at

 some point in September or early October, I believe.

  Q: And what was the purpose of that meeting?

  A: Well, it was a meeting that -- that was one of the meetings I attended as part of my transitioning out of the project, and the intent of the meeting was to have a meeting with Plum Creek Conservation District and request additional information from them.

 

1223 (23) ·Q· And at least today, you can't recall whether -- you don't recall HHNT also informing you that the dam was designated as high hazard. Is that right?

 A· I don't recall.

 Q· Do you recall whether you took any notes during that meeting with Plum Creek?

 A· With Plum Creek? I did not.

 Q· Okay. If you had taken notes, would those have been discarded?

 A· I did not take any notes.

 Q· Okay. Is it the policy of Biggs & Mathews and of you personally to discard comments, notes, and other documents once a final application has been prepared and

submitted?

 A· I typically just discard any draft versions of an application once it is submitted, yes.

 Q· And, in fact, don't you also discard e-mails if they include any comments related to any portion of an application?

 A· If an application has submitted, I would

discard those, yes.

 

1253 (6) ·Q· Is it your understanding that heavy equipment

operations could generate a substantial amount of noise?

 A· Could you repeat that, please?

 Q· Do you know whether heavy equipment operation can generate a substantial amount of noise?

 A· I would say that heavy equipment operation would generate noise.

 Q· Could it also generate light during the evening hours?

 A· Yes.

 Q· And could these be considered to be incompatible with residents who live near the property?

 A· Could you repeat that, please?

 Q· Sure. Heavy equipment operation -- the noise generated by heavy equipment operation and the light generated by heavy equipment operation, could those be considered incompatible with residents who live near the landfill?

 A· I guess it could.

 

1256 (3) Q: Right. And that’s what we’re looking at, the section on control of windblown waste and litter. So you mentioned that you’ve see the use of tarps on landfills that are as high as this one is proposed to be. Could you give me a couple of examples?

A: I believe that D/FW landfill and the skyline landfill, those are both in the Dallas for worth area, I believe that those use alternative daily cover and use tarps. There a number of other facilities that do not come to mind at this point.

 

1257 (5) Q· So you haven't observed whether the tarp has

been effective in controlling windblown waste?

 A· I personally probably have not observed that. However, you could review the site operating plan record to determine the effectiveness of those tarps.

 

 

1260 (3): Do you know whether the area of the proposed landfill has experienced feral hogs?

A· I made several site visits to the -- to the property, and I did not observe any feral hogs. So I don't know if other people have observed feral hogs.

Q· So you didn't observe any signs or indications that feral hogs had been on the site?

 

1261 (7) Q· And do you believe that a tarp would besufficient to prohibit a feral hog from accessing thewaste?

A· I would not think so, no.

 

1281 (2-12:

 Q· In the description of Mr. Kaufmann in thissection of the application, he's described as an elected member of the City of Huntsville, Alabama, City Council.Right?

A· Yes.

Q· Are you aware that as president of theHuntsville City Council, Mr. Kaufmann voted for and signed a resolution accusing the United States government of committing substantial wrongs against German scientist Arthur Rudolph?

 

1283 (16):

Q· Would it surprise you to learn that Mr. Rudolph was considered a Nazi war criminal?

A· I have no opinion.

Q· What kind of inquiries did you make in order to determine what type of competency Mr. Kaufmann had to satisfy Rule 330.59, Subsection (f)?

A· I asked Mr. Kaufmann to provide the information that would address that rule.

Q· Okay. So the information -- the description of Mr. Kaufmann that's included in this application, that's something that he provided himself?

A· Yes.

Q· And did you make any further inquiries about his competency?

A· No.

 

Gregory Adams Deposition Review

772 (10-15):

Q· Can you tell me what's the most recent landfill application that you worked on, obviously, besides this one?

A· Application that I've worked on?

Q· Yeah.

A· Would be the Pintail.

 

783 (1-13):

Q· And just to review, what was the change that you made on this page?

A· In the second paragraph, midway through thesentence that did read, "Contaminated water will be discharged to the surface water management system to be constructed at the site," and I changed that to read, "The contaminated water will not be discharged to the surface water management system to be constructed at the site."

Q· Is it fair to say that the addition of that "not" reversed the meaning of this sentence?

A· Yes.

 

787- 14:

Q And again, at that point, you didn't feel the need to point out that contained -- or at least you didn't see that that was a typographical error that needed corrected?

A· That appears to be true.

Q· Would it be a problem if contaminated water were discharged to the storm water management system?

A· It would -- it would be a violation to the rules.

 

788-5, -792

: Q: okay. Let’s turn to your involvement in the geology report… Did you seal this document?

A: yes

Q: Does your seal apply to the entirety of the report?

A: No. My seal- underneath my seal, it notes section 2.3, 5.1, 5.2

Q: Is that located on the cover of the report where your seal is located?

A: I believe this is the cover.

Q: Thank you, Now are you a geologist?

A: No.

Q: Are you a hydrologist?

A: No.

Q: Are you a professional geologist?

A: No.

Q: are you intending to express an opinion on the hydrology beneath the site?

A: No.

 

792: 2-25, 793 (1-16)

Q·Now, let's look at the general facility design. Can you turn to -- and I know we're jumping around just a bit, but that's the nature of it. Could you turn to 130EP-2 at Page 24, Did

you seal -- well, what document commences on 130EP-2, Page 24?

A· Part III, Facility Investigation and Design, Attachment B, General Facility Design.

Q· Did you seal this document?

A· Yes.

Q· Can we turn to the Table of Contents? That would be on Page 25. Does this document address endangered species protection?

A· Yes.

Q· Are you an expert on endangered species protection?

A· No.

Q· So did your seal apply to that section?

A· My seal applies to that the information contained in that is the information that is provided in the permit.

Q· But you're not an expert on the opinions expressed there?

A· No.

Q· So does your seal apply to the opinions expressed?

A· It applies to that the opinions that are – the part of the summary that is provided in this is a representation of the report and the information that's provided elsewhere in the permit.

Q· You're not in any way endorsing those opinions by sealing this document?

A· Well, it would depend on what you're endorsing, and I'm not distancing myself from them.

Q· But you're not expressing, necessarily, agreements or an endorsement with those opinions? A· I have to provide the information. It's provided in multiple places in the permit, and so it's required to be included in this.

 

794 (8-23):

 Q· By sealing the document, you're not expressing -- intending to express any endorsement that the development facility shall be conducted to minimize potential impacts to endangered and threatened species?

A· Well, that is a requirement. This is – that is a requirement. So that is part of the -- part of the design is, we're required to minimize.

 Q· And you've placed your seal on that statement?

 A· Yeah, it's in the document that I sealed.

 Q· But you're not expressing that opinion by placing that seal on the document?

 A· Could you --

 Q· I'm trying to understand what your seal meant in some of these instances, where you sealed --

 A· Well, I'm sealing exactly what this paragraph says.

 

795 (19-25):

Q· Are you expressing any opinion on endangered and threatened species by sealing this document?

A· No.

 

796 (4):

Q· And is the same true if we look at water pollution control well, are you expressing an opinion

on the adequacy of the facility with regard to water pollution control? When you sealed this document, are you intending to express an opinion regarding the sufficiency of the water pollution control measures?

A· I'm basically stating what is required of the facility.

 

 

797- 25

Q: But for all of the requirements relevant to water pollution control?··Have you evaluated compliance for all requirements related to water pollution control?

A· Yes. ·And I'll just step back. Specifically, do you see where this page indicates 30TAC,

Section 330.63(b)(4)?

A· Yes.

 

 798 -12, 799-25

A· I would say that my opinion is the next sentence, "The facility has been designed to keep contaminate water, that is water that may have come in contact with waste at the landfill, separated from uncontaminated stormwater runoff."And that is my opinion.

Q· But -- and I appreciate that sentence is contained within this section ·I'm asking, are you

expressing, by sealing this document, an opinion on compliance with 30TAC, 330.63(b)(4)?

A· May I turn to that rule?

Q· Yes.

A· Now, be sure I'm clear.Were you talking about what's in the Paragraph 330.15(h)? Q· I think we were turning to the rule, 30TAC, Section 330.63(b)(4).

A· Oh, 63(b)(4).I'm sorry.I was reading the reference in the middle of the page.

Q· Okay.

A· Okay. I've read it.

Q· Now, and so when you sealed this document, are you expressing an opinion regarding compliance with 330.63(b)(4)?

A· Yes.

Q· And so what qualifications do you have to evaluate whether the liquids resulting from the operation of the solid waste processing facilities will be disposed of in a manner that will not cause surface water or groundwater pollution?Did you evaluate the potential for surface water pollution?

A· Surface water pollution?

Q· Yes.

A· That is addressed in the leachate and contaminated water plan.

Q· But now, did you -- in performing that, did you reach an ultimate conclusion as to whether surface water pollution would occur?

A· No. We have the controls that would be designed to prevent that.

Q: And does this describe how it will not be allowed, what measures are included to ensure that that will not be allowed?

A: This describes- or states that a disposal will be conducted at a publicly owned treatment works                                                                                                                                             

Q· And does 330 -- does that regulation we were dealing with, 330.63(b)(4), also address groundwater pollution

A· Which?··330.63(b)(4)?

Q· Yes.

A· It -- that rule says the owner or operator shall describe how all liquids resulting from the

operation will be disposed in a manner that will not cause surface water or groundwater pollution.

Q: And did you evaluate the potential for groundwater pollution?

A: No.··This rule right here that we're speaking of talks only of disposal.

Q: Did you evaluate that, the disposal and how it would relate to groundwater contamination?

A: In the fact that we're saying it will be disposed of at a treatment plant, that's how we --

that's how we -- it will be transported to a treatment plant for treatment.

 

802 (7-17)

Q· Yes.  In sealing this document, are you expressing an opinion on the sufficiency of the application with regard to facility access?

A· I'm -- I'm expressing the -- the opinions that are contained on Page 26.

Q·  And does that section make reference to 330.63(b)(1)?

A· Yes, it does.

Q· And so are you expressing an opinion on compliance with that regulation?

A· Yes.

 

 

807 (19)- 808 (18)

Q: Is it the -- is it your firm's general practice to discard soil samples?

 A: Eventually on all projects, yes, we discard them.

 Q: Do you have any standard practice for how long you keep those samples?

 A: No.··That would -- that would vary from project to project.

Q: Do you have any chain of custody that you use to track those samples?

A: When the -- the samples that go from -- that we send to the laboratory, the laboratory assignment sheet serves as a chain of custody.

Q: Did the driller compile any field logs in this case?

A: I believe so.

Q: Did you bring those field logs back to your office?

A: I may have, on occasion, brought them back.··At other times, they may have been sent by some other method.

Q: Did you use those field logs in any way?

A: I used the field logs when I logged the samples.··I -- I actually wrote over the field logs.··I would take the field log and start to describe the sample and just write over top of it in a different color.

 Q: Did you preserve those field logs in any way?

 A: I did not.

 Q: Did you preserve your notes on the field logs in any way?

 A: I did not.

 Q: Did you discard those field logs?

 

 

810 (11-18)

Q· Now, according to Mr. Snyder, you observed more of the samples than he did.··Would you agree with that?

A· I observed all the samples.··So if he observed anything less than all, that would be correct.

Q: So were you primarily responsible for documenting any secondary features in the samples?

A: Yes, I -- I would've looked at all of the samples.

 

812 (14)

Q: Who had final review of the boring logs?

A: Final review would be Mr. Snyder.

Q: Now, I believe in deposition that Mr. Snyder said that you had final review of the logs.··Was he correct -- so you would say that was not a correct statement?

A: I don't know what he said in deposition.

Q: Well, if he said that you had final review of

the boring logs, that would be incorrect?

A: Well, like I said, final review of the logs are under his portion, so he is finally responsible.

Q: In finalizing the logs, are you comparing the soil classifications to your lab reports?

A: Well, that's how the soil classifications are derived, from the lab reports.

Q: Do you have any quality assurance or quality control policies or procedures?

A: Do I have --

Q: Let's back up. By "you" I mean, does Burge-Martínez have any quality assurance or quality -- does – does Biggs & Mathews have any quality assurance or quality control procedures?

A: Procedures, yes.··We have procedures of the way we do things.

Q: Are those documented in any way?

A: Are you saying are there written procedures?

Q: Yes.

A: No, I do not have written procedures.

Q: So you have no written quality assurance or quality control procedures?

A: Not -- and we are speaking specifically of which topic?

Q: Yes.··Specifically to the evaluation of soil samples in the development of boring logs.

A: No, I do not have written procedures for that.

Q: For quality assurance or quality control?

A: For either quality assurance or quality control.

 

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