Tuesday, August 11, 2020

DEP: Chestnut Valley Landfill To Play $25,000 Penalty In Fayette County

On August 11, Department of Environmental Protection announced a consent assessment of civil penalty of $25,000 from Advanced Disposal Services Chestnut Valley Landfill, LLC., a municipal waste landfill located in German Township, Fayette County, to address violations of its permit and state law. 
On January 24, 2019, during an unannounced routine inspection of the landfill, DEP discovered that the landfill failed to conduct and record the required twice-daily off-site odor monitoring survey. 
DEP staff reviewed a signed odor survey record at the landfill which inaccurately and falsely indicated that the January 24th surveys were conducted. Specifically, the record stated that the afternoon survey had already been completed, and no odors observed, even though the record was timestamped for later that day. 
The employee who reported false information in the record is no longer employed by Advanced Disposal Services.
DEP’s environmental compliance includes both scheduled and unannounced on-site inspections coupled with administrative reviews of reported information. Permittees are required to self-inspect, monitor and accurately report certain information and data on a regular basis in accordance with their permit and state regulations.
 Operators are also required to provide additional data, photos, or information at DEP’s request and to self-report violations. 
Pennsylvania’s Solid Waste Management Act specifically prohibits an entity covered by the act to “refuse, hinder, obstruct, delay, or threaten any agent or employee of the department in the course of performance of any duty under this act, including, but not limited to, entry and inspection under any circumstances.” 
“While violations and enforcement actions of this nature are less common, DEP considers them to be willful and egregious. Obstruction of DEP oversight through false or inaccurate documentation puts the environment at risk, erodes the trust of the community, and will not be tolerated,” said DEP Southwest Regional Director Ron Schwartz.
The $25,000 civil penalty payment will go into the Commonwealth’s Solid Waste Abatement Fund. 
Media questions should be directed Lauren Fraley, DEP Southwest Regional Office, 312-442-4203 or lfraley@pa.gov
[Posted: August 11, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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