DEP Fines Imperial Landfill Owners $142,000 for Ongoing Odor, Discharge Violations; Requires Operational Improvements

January 3, 2011

Company Agrees to Increase Monitoring, Move Disposal Area Further from School

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Allied Waste Systems of Pennsylvania will pay a $142,000 fine and take steps to eliminate odors from affecting residents and a nearby elementary school in Findlay Township, Allegheny County, under the terms of a consent order and agreement with the Department of Environmental Protection.

The agreement is DEP’s latest enforcement action aimed at eliminating ongoing odor complaints against Imperial Landfill, which is owned and operated by Allied Waste and is upwind of the West Allegheny School District’s Wilson Elementary School.

DEP first began receiving off-site odor complaints against Imperial Landfill in January 2009. Later that year, the landfill repaired or replaced dozens of gas management wells to capture more gas–a byproduct of landfill operations–before it could create odor issues by migrating off-site. DEP fined Allied Waste $650,000 in March 2010 for gas-related and other violations.

The department followed that enforcement action with an administrative order in April 2010 requiring Allied to investigate gas emissions more extensively to determine the precise source of off-site odors. While Allied Waste appealed the order, it installed impermeable plastic cover on 40 acres of the landfill closest to the school last summer.

DEP’s staff also continued to note ongoing violations at the landfill’s gas perimeter probes, which exceeded the regulatory limit for methane migration, and sediment-laden water discharges from off-site.

“Allied Waste has implemented a number of crucial changes, but our staff saw that more steps could–and should–be taken to ensure that odors were not migrating off-site and affecting area residents and students and teachers at nearby Wilson Elementary School,” DEP Southwest Regional Director George Jugovic Jr. said. “One of our chief concerns was that the company did not understand the source of the gas problems in its own gas management system. Operating this system properly is in the best interest of public health and is essential for the landfill to meet the state’s standards.”

As part of the agreement announced today, Allied Waste must apply to modify its permit and permanently move its potentially odorous waste disposal activities to the far side of the landfill, creating a buffer zone of several hundred yards between that area and the school.

The company must also implement stringent nuisance control procedures; ensure that all access doors to leachate and condensate tanks and sumps are closed; provide DEP with surface methane monitoring results; and monitor the landfill’s perimeter daily for off-site odors and notify DEP of the results.

DEP continues to work closely with the Allegheny County Health Department’s Air Quality Division, which has primary air quality oversight of the landfill. The county department issued a similar order to Allied Waste in April 2010.

For more information, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us or call 412-442-4000.

CONTACT: Katy Gresh, +1-412-442-4203

Source: Department of Environmental Protection Southwest Regional Office

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Source: newswire

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