Thursday, May 14, 2015

DEP Announces $20,750 Settlement Against Casella Waste Management

The Department of Environmental Protection Thursday announced a settlement of $20,750 with Casella Waste Management of Pennsylvania, Inc. (Casella) for multiple violations of the Solid Waste Management Act at the McKean County Landfill in Kane from May to August 2014.
In lieu of a $15,750 portion of the monetary civil penalty payment to the Department, Casella and DEP agreed to a Community Environmental Project in which 315 tons of landfill disposal capacity will be provided by Casella for the disposal of solid waste generated by the demolition and removal of building structures located on blighted properties throughout McKean County.
Casella Waste Management incurred the penalty for failing to maintain the land area intended to prevent leachate from leaving the lined disposal area. The failure resulted in the release of leachate.
Other violations included an excessive volume of exposed waste on the landfill, inadequate intermediate cover placed over waste, and leaking containers of residual waste stored outside of the lined disposal area.
In May 2014, DEP inspected the McKean County Landfill three times. During the inspections, DEP observed the waste slope as too steep, exceeding the 50 percent grade limit. The slope was poorly maintained, with little space in the perimeter berm to collect stormwater.
As a result, heavy rains caused solid waste, cover soil, and leachate to flow over the lined perimeter berm. Two Notices of Violation were issued for the violations identified during DEP’s inspections.
On August 1, DEP again inspected the landfill and observed eight leaking containers filled with residual waste that were stored outside of the lined disposal area. Inspectors also found a high volume of exposed waste with inadequate cover throughout the site. It was also determined that one slope still exceeded the grade limit and, as a result, several erosion gullies had formed on some slopes.
An additional NOV was issued on August 5 for these violations.
Casella has paid the $5,000 penalty balance to DEP.
Blighted properties are a growing problem in McKean County. In 2013, the county commissioners created a Blight Property Task Force to address the problem. DEP believes that providing the task force with 315 tons of landfill disposal will play a big role in addressing this issue. By providing free disposal, the county will be able to address more blighted properties in an economic way.
According to the agreement, only waste generated from the demolition of structures on blighted properties in McKean County and approved in writing by both the task force and the McKean County Commissioners will be eligible for free disposal under the settlement.
For more information, call 814-332-6848.

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