August 29, 2008

Brown County Landfill Proposal Hits Snag ; Public Comment on Proposed Expansion Has Been Extended Until Sept. 25, According to Ohio EPA.

By Steve Bennish Staff Writer

DAYTON -- Public interest and new opposition to a proposed Brown County landfill expansion, which would accommodate solid waste from Montgomery and Miami counties, has prompted the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to delay its approval process for a month.

More than 100 people turned out Aug. 19 for an information session in Georgetown to hear details on the proposed expansion of Rumpke Waste Inc.'s landfill from 72.5 acres to 281.1 acres.

A five-year contract worth at least $12 million a year with Rumpke is putting about 1,500 tons of trash from the two counties on a 70-mile highway journey each way.

The trash will be carried by 50 tractor-trailers five to six days a week. Landfill space in Montgomery County is nearly exhausted.

The delay won't yet affect hauling of local trash, said David Ricks, Montgomery County's Public Works director. The landfill has backup capacity for Montgomery County's trash, and Miami County's trash is being hauled to a Rumpke landfill in Hamilton County.

Getting an expansion is important for the long-term future of the landfill, which could run out of room if expansion is denied.

Public comment on the expansion has been extended until Sept. 25, OEPA spokeswoman Heather Lauer said. After the comment period, OEPA will consider approving the plan, approving it with conditions or rejecting it, she said.

Before the proposal even reached this stage, Lauer said, Rumpke reduced the size by 40 acres to keep the landfill away from important headwaters for White Oak Creek.

Residents have other objections to the expansion.

According to the Brown County Press, objections are coming from local school district representatives because of the landfill's proximity to an elementary and high school.

District land abuts that of the landfill. At current dumping rates, an expansion could put the landfill within 1,700 feet to 2,000 feet of the schools within 80 years, the Press reported.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-7407 or [email protected]

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