Friday, July 22, 2022

DEP To Hold 2 Hearings On Air Quality Permit For Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill Leachate Evaporation System

On July 22, the Department of Environmental Protection published a draft air quality plan approval [65-00767C] to allow the construction and initial temporary operation of a leachate evaporation system at Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill, located in Rostraver Township, Westmoreland County. (
July 23 PA Bulletin page 4166)

DEP is accepting public comments until September 12, 2022, and will hold two public hearings, one in-person hearing and one virtual, to collect testimony from the public on the draft air quality plan approval.

Each hearing will begin at 6:00 PM. The dates and locations are as follows: 

-- August 31 at Rostraver Central Fire Department, 1100 Fells Church Road, Rostraver Township, PA 15012

-- September 1 held virtually via the Webex platform

Air quality plan approval is required prior to the start of construction of an air contamination source and may allow for temporary operation. A plan approval is not the same as an operating permit, which is required for long-term operation. 

Publication of a draft air quality plan approval and notice of intent signals that DEP has performed its evaluation of the application and begins the regulatory public participation process. 

The draft air quality plan approval and more information is available on the DEP’s community information webpage for Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill. 

Individuals who wish to observe or present testimony at either hearing are asked to register in advance by contacting DEP’s Southwest Community Relations Coordinator Lauren Fraley at  or 412-442-4203. Registration for the hearing will be taken through 4:00 PM the day before each hearing. 

Testimony will be limited to three minutes for DEP to receive as many comments as possible. Time may not be relinquished or shared, and organizations are asked to designate one speaker on its behalf. 

To accommodate all interested parties, the virtual hearing will be accessible both by internet and phone. Those wishing to participate in the virtual hearing will receive the link and instructions for how to join via email. Video demonstrations and screen sharing by testifiers will not be permitted during the virtual hearing.

All comments, whether provided orally at a hearing or in writing, carry equal weight and consideration before DEP. All presenters should provide at least one copy of their written comments and exhibits for submission to the DEP either at the in-person hearing or via email to the email account below following the virtual hearing. 

DEP will accept written comments on the draft air quality plan approval through close of business on September 12, 2022. 

Comments on the applications can be e-mailed to  or mailed to the DEP’s Southwest Regional Office, Air Quality Program, 400 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 and should contain the name, address, email, and telephone number of the person submitting the comments, identification of the proposed Plan Approval (PA-65-00767C), and a concise statement and the relevant facts upon which the comments are based. 

If you are a person with a disability wishing to attend either hearing and require an auxiliary aid, service or other accommodation to participate in the proceedings, please contact Lauren Fraley to discuss how DEP may accommodate your needs. 

If necessary, you may use the Pennsylvania Hamilton Relay Service by calling (800) 654-5984 (TDD Users) or (800) 654-5988 (Voice users) and request that your call be relayed to Lauren Fraley at 412-442-4203.

Visit DEP’s Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill information webpage for more information and read the entire PA Bulletin notice.  (July 23 PA Bulletin page 4166)

[Note: The Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill had significant issues from the impact of drilling waste it accepted for disposal in 2020 and radiation levels in its resulting leachate.  

[Belle Vernon Municipal Authority was earlier approved to accept the Landfill’s leachate for treatment, however, the leachate upset the wastewater treatment process and the Authority denied access to the treatment plant.  Read more here.]

Related Article:

-- DEP Fines Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill $24,000 To Resolve Waste Violations; Drilling Waste Impacts On Leachate

-- Belle Vernon Municipal Authority Taking A Stand Against Pollution From Drilling Waste

[Posted: July 22, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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