EPA’s TAGA bus ensures landfill compliance
The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s
(EPA) TAGA bus (Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzer), a specialized mobile
air quality laboratory, visited the Countywide Landfill in East Sparta,
In April, EPA entered into an agreement requiring landfill operator Republic
Services to take a number of actions to protect human health and the
environment at and around the facility. Data collected by the TAGA bus
will help EPA establish a baseline to assess the effectiveness of air
pollution control methods required under the agreement.
The actions, paid for by Republic, are expected to cost several million
dollars. In addition, the company will reimburse EPA for oversight expenses
that it incurred.
The EPA is currently reviewing Republic’s proposed action plans to address
installation of a landfill cover and long-term capping provisions, landfill
gas extraction and monitoring, ambient air monitoring at and around the
facility, and workplace safety and health operations for Countywide Landfill
employees. Upon approval of these plans, site work will begin under EPA
The EPA is the lead agency ensuring compliance with the April order.
Ohio EPA and the Stark County Health Department continue to oversee day-to-day
operations under a state waste facility permit. Ohio EPA also continues
to monitor compliance with all previously issued state orders.
The Countywide Landfill opened in 1991. About 275 acres of the site are
permitted for disposal of solid waste. The site contains about 600,000
tons of aluminum process waste. The aluminum waste reacts when it comes
into contact with liquids, generating noxious odors and heat. Ohio EPA
formally requested EPA clean-up assistance at the site in February.
The TAGA bus is managed by the agency’s Edison, New Jersey-based Environmental
Response Team. The vehicle has been used to assess airborne contaminants
at other landfills.