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Pennsylvania DEP Forces Landfill to Close

Alliance Landfill Closed Until Violations are Remedied

Wilkes-Barre, PA— Alliance Landfill in Taylor Borough, Lackawanna County, will be shut down under a consent order and agreement that DEP issued to force the landfill to correct numerous violations and remedy community nuisances.

The consent order and agreement required the landfill to close voluntarily on April 14, 2003, and remain closed until corrective action is taken on operational problems that DEP documented during routine inspections, complaint response activities, and after-hours inspections and odor patrols.

"We recorded more than 58 violations at the landfill since March 2002," DEP Northeast Regional Director William McDonnell said. "During that time, the department received 86 public complaints regarding odors during the landfill's normal working hours and an additional 90 odor complaints after its normal business hours. DEP personnel investigated almost every odor complaint filed, which often necessitated additional follow-up inspections."

The consent order and agreement documents that odor violations were caused by the following: the large daily disposal area known as the working face; leachate seeps; ineffective intermediate cover material; blockages in the gas collection lines due to condensation buildup and freezing; inefficient gas collection; flare malfunctions; excessive leachate storage; mismanagement of the leachate treatment systems; and malodorous chemical neutralizers.

The order also details that odor problems in general indicate that the landfill's operational controls, cover material and working face are either being monitored and implemented ineffectively, or they are inadequate for the size of the landfill.

Alliance will remain closed under the consent order until the following construction items are completed: complete the final capping and establish vegetation on an area that was scheduled to be closed last fall but has yet to be completed; install gas wells and improve the landfill's gas collection system to eliminate blockages of the gas collection lines; repair and restore flow to the leachate treatment plant due to pipe blockages; and reduce the volume of leachate stored in the emergency leachate storage tanks.

The order also requires Alliance to implement closure, finalize capping and establish vegetation on approximately 20 acres by September 15, 2003, as well as an additional 10 acres by October 31, 2003. The landfill will have to install permanent modifications to the gas collection system to convey all gas to the gas plant or permanent flares by September 30, 2003.

DEP modified the landfill's permit on March 5, 2002, due to odor and litter violations dating back to October 2000. The permit modification required Alliance to reduce odors and blowing litter. DEP required that the size of the daily dumping area be reduced in an effort to reduce odor and litter violations at the site, and that personnel be available at all times to monitor the gas collection and control system. In addition, a $115,000 civil penalty was levied, citing odor and litter violations dating back to October 2000.





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