Update: No lasting health effects from Iowa City landfill fire - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Update: No lasting health effects from Iowa City landfill fire


The fire at the Iowa City landfill lasted 15 days.

But the Director of the Johnson County Health Department said there should be no lasting health affects for people in the area.

The fire produced a lot of smoke but thanks to wind, it dissipated quickly, which kept people from being exposed to pollutants for long periods of time.

Now that the fire has been completely covered by clay, all services are once again open at the landfill, making things feel normal for the general public. 

For the city, things are still far from back to the way they were.

"The landfill is what we call an essential service for the community and really for all of Johnson County, so we need to be thinking about how we're going to be moving forward," Said Geoff Fruin, assistant to Iowa City manager Tom Markus.

Crews will continue to remain on scene to make sure the fire smoldering under the clay stays contained.  It may still be weeks before the fire is completely out.

City officials will then have the difficult task of figuring out how to rebuild and the actual cost of the fire.  The price tag has been estimated at $4-6 million.

"Once the fire is extinguished we can go in there and excavate and look at the damage to the lining system itself to figure out what repairs will be needed," Fruin said.

Just as pressing is who will foot the bill.

Some reports speculate the damage is not covered by insurance.  City leaders say they'll wait to hear from insurance before making a decision.

"It's premature to speculate how we will finance the rebuilding of the cell," Fruin said.

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