JUNE 2010

Ohio EPA and Stark County remedy problems at landfill

Ohio EPA and the Stark County Health Department are joining forces to address significant maintenance concerns at the closed Exit C&D Landfill located in Osnaburg, Ohio. The combined state and local effort is made possible with funding from Ohio’s Environmental Protection Remediation Fund.

A smoldering underground fire is suspected as the cause of severe settling on the landfill’s surface. If left unattended, the settling could destabilize the landfill’s slopes. To deal with the problem, Ohio EPA is dedicating more than $100,000 so its contractor can assess the landfill’s hotspots and fix any damage caused by the subsurface heating. Particular attention will be paid to the settled areas and large cracks visible on the landfill’s slopes.

In addition, the Stark County Health Department (SCHD) continues efforts to manage the landfill’s leachate (contaminated water being recirculated in the old waste disposal area). While recirculation is an economical way to manage leachate, it also causes waste to decompose at a faster rate, creates heating, and may be contributing to the underground fire. To alleviate that concern, Ohio EPA is providing a $25,000 grant to SCHD to remove accumulated leachate and truck it to a wastewater treatment plant. SCHD also will make road repairs so the trucks are able to access on-site leachate tanks.

Thanks to the grant, SCHD will not have to spend county funds to do the work.

Exit C&D operated as a licensed construction and demolition debris landfill until 2002. At that time, SCHD revoked the landfill’s license due to numerous and repeated violations of Ohio’s waste disposal regulations. The landfill’s owner subsequently abandoned the site without properly closing the facility. Since 2005, SCHD has used $482,000 in financial assurance money (paid by Exit C&D’s insurance company) and $240,000 in county funds to properly close, cap and maintain the landfill.

SCHD has placed a lien on the property in an effort to recoup expenses incurred by the county.

Exit C&D is one of dozens of “orphaned” Ohio landfills – solid waste and construction and demolition debris landfills in various states of disrepair and need of attention. Orphan landfills have no current owner or funds set aside for proper closure and maintenance. Exit C&D is the first Ohio landfill to directly benefit from the Environmental Protection Remediation Fund.