The owner of a Dayton landfill is “in complete agreement” with Ohio EPA orders to contain odors that have led to a lawsuit, a city ban, complaints from nearby jurisdictions and the county exploring other solid waste disposal sites.
The state agency cites regulatory violations involving the odor issues at the Stony Hollow Landfill and requires the Waste Management-owned facility to take six actions by late December, if not sooner.
“We have been actively engaged with Ohio EPA and are in complete agreement with this order,” according to a statement issued Thursday by Waste Management. “All of us at Stony Hollow Landfill and the company remain committed to resolving issues as quickly as possible.”
Since spring, the South Gettysburg Avenue site commonly has been the source of odor complaints that now top 300. Initially coming from Jefferson Twp. and Moraine, more recently the complaints have also originated from Jackson Twp., Kettering, Miamisburg and West Carrollton.
Last month a Moraine resident filed a class-action lawsuit, the city of Dayton ordered the landfill to stop discharging waste into its sewer system and Montgomery County – at the urging of Moraine City Manager David Hicks - began exploring other sites to send its solid waste.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s 14-page document signed by Director Craig Butler Nov. 28 outlines “short-term actions to minimize odors,” according to agency Media Relations Manager James Lee.
It includes in its findings a section of state code that landfills “operated in such a manner to emit such amounts of odor as to endanger the health, safety, or welfare of the public, or cause unreasonable injury or damage to property, is….a public nuisance.”
The OEPA’s findings state Stony Hollow received two violation notices in June from the Regional Air Pollution Control Agency. A June 2 notice was issued “for the operation of various wells in violation” of the performance standards of municipal solid waste landfills, according to the OEPA’s findings.
RAPCA received 58 landfill odor complaints that month, according to the OEPA’s findings. During a 24-day surveillance of the landfill from May 10 to July 11, half “of those days observed moderate to very strong landfill odors offsite,” the agency’s findings indicate.
The OEPA document indicates Stony Hollow has taken several steps to resolve the odor issue, but to no avail.
The Ohio EPA’s orders require Stony Hollow to:
- By Dec. 22 install a liner meeting EPA requirements as a temporary cap on 13.5 acres of the landfill;
- Immediately begin odor surveys at EPA identified locations identified at least three times daily;
- Immediately notify the director or his designee, the Dayton city manager or her designee and other local government officials of communities potentially impacted, of any facility malfunction, power outage or event that may cause the migration of nuisance odors beyond the landfill property.
Waste Management indicated it will “immediately increase our odor surveys in the surrounding community to at least three times each day, every day.
“We also have a protocol in place to notify the Ohio EPA and other local government officials of any facility malfunctions, power outages or events that may cause the migration of odors beyond the landfill property,” according to the company’s statement. “We will provide updates until the conditions causing the specific odor issues have been resolved.”
This month it will also begin conducting weekly “ambient air monitoring” and will install backup power sources for the landfill’s gas extraction system and leachate collection system, the company stated.
“We will also complete construction of the temporary synthetic cap and updates to the secondary gas flare to handle a larger gas capacity, which will help eliminate more collected gas,” according to Waste Management.
Odors from the landfill began drawing complaints in April from Moraine and Jefferson Twp. residents. Both Moraine and Stony Hollow established complaint filing systems.
In October, Moraine residents told city officials said odors from the landfill were impacting their breathing, forcing them indoors and decreasing land values.
Later that month Dayton barred Stony Hollow from discharging waste into the city sewer system after – as city records show – the site’s waste blocked sewer lines and contained a “questionably toxic” chemical that resulted in 10 city workers seeking medical attention from “significant odors.”
Dayton also issued a permit violation notice to the landfill.
Waste Management said then the chemical in the city’s notice of violation is a “common descaling agent added to wastewater to help keep the pipes clear.”
On Nov. 1, the landfill was named as a defendant in a class action lawsuit filed by a Moraine resident. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court contends Stony Hollow has been negligent in containing emissions.
The suit, naming Carly Beck as the plaintiff, claims more than 100 class members and seeks “in excess of $5 million.” It claims Stony Hollow “has failed to sufficiently collect, capture, and destroy landfill gas generated at its landfill to prevent fugitive emissions and to otherwise prevent odors from the landfill from invading the homes and property.”
Two weeks later, the Montgomery County Solid Waste Advisory Committee – which represents more than 20 jurisdictions - voted to ask the solid waste district to “determine alternative options for waste disposal that are economically and environmentally responsible.”
Ohio EPA orders for Stony Hollow Landfill
- By Dec. 22, install a liner meeting EPA requirements as a temporary cap on 13.5 acres of the landfill and notify the EPA within 24 hours and submit verification documents by within 14 days.
- By Dec. 20, replace a gas-suppression flare approved in June with a larger one approved in October, and notify the Regional Air Pollution Control Agency within 24 hours and submit verification documents within 14 days.
- By Dec. 15, have in place backup power sources for the landfill’s gas extraction system and the leachate collection system, and identify them to the EPA by Dec. 22.
- Immediately begin odor surveys at EPA identified locations identified at least three times daily in the morning, afternoon and evening. Surveys times may be adjusted in response to citizen complaints and results of each survey be maintained on site for a year.
- Immediately notify the director or his designee, the Dayton city manager or her designee and other local government officials of communities potentially impacted, of any facility malfunction, power outage or event that may cause the migration of nuisance odors beyond the landfill property. Respondent will periodically update the government officials, post periodic updates to the facility’s odor alert phone message and post updates to the facility website, www.stonyhollowlandfill.com, within 24 hours until the conditions causing the specific odor issue has been resolved.
- By Dec. 14, begin conducting ambient air monitoring every six days; conduct 24-hour sampling at 2 fixed locations near-simultaneously near the north fence line and near the south fence line. Monitoring locations or schedule may be changed upon written concurrence from RAPCA.