Ohio Landfill Misses First Deadline for Odor Control

The first key deadline required Sunny Farms Landfill LLC to ensure parts of the landfill, not currently accepting waste, were covered with 3 feet of soil by Feb. 28, but an inspection on March 1 by Ohio EPA inspectors found many areas where the facility failed to provide adequate soil cover.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has cited Sunny Farms Landfill LLC for allegedly failing to meet its first key deadline to reduce odors at the landfill in Fostoria, Ohio, under the orders the company signed on Jan. 31, 2019. Those orders require Sunny Farms to take several definitive actions to reduce odors coming from the landfill, with deadlines for each action. The first key deadline required Sunny Farms to ensure parts of the landfill, not currently accepting waste, were covered with 3 feet of soil by Feb. 28, but an inspection on March 1 by Ohio EPA inspectors found many areas where the facility failed to provide adequate soil cover. The agency has issued a notice of violation to the facility, which requires immediate placement of the appropriate level of soil on the landfill.

"Sunny Farms has failed to put additional soil cover on the landfill, which Ohio EPA believes is an important step in moving them towards reducing odors in the community. Their failure to take action under the orders that were just issued to them demonstrates to the Agency that they are not taking seriously their responsibility to reduce odors," said Ohio EPA Director Laurie Stevenson.

Ohio EPA has referred the case to the Ohio Attorney General's Office and stressed that the referral doesn't release the landfill operators from their obligations to comply with the Jan. 31 orders.

The orders indicated complaints by the public, coupled with downwind air testing that detected elevated hydrogen sulfide levels, prompted the agency to act. Sunny Farms was ordered to install three new air monitors to frequently check hydrogen sulfide levels in the community and submit a weekly report with the data to Ohio EPA and the local county health department, increase odor monitoring in the community and on the surface of the landfill and take additional action where gases are escaping, reduce the size of the active working areas of the landfill and place cover soil over all areas that are not receiving waste, and continue to maintain a third-party odor complaint hotline.

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