Monday, November 13, 2023

DEP Collects $62,475 Penalty From Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill Under Agreement To Correct Violations, Improve Environmental Protections At The Facility

On November 13, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it collected $62,475 from Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill, LLC to address violations of Pennsylvania’s Solid Waste Management Act and Clean Streams Law. 

This consent order and agreement (COA) executed by DEP and the Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill requires the landfill to take a number of corrective actions as well as proactive measures to prevent future violations. 

The residual/municipal waste landfill located in Rostraver Township, Westmoreland County is subject to air quality, waste, and water discharge permits and authorizations as well as various requirements under previously executed COAs.  

This COA addresses outstanding issues from previous COAs that the landfill has yet to correct and violations documented by DEP in August 2022, January 2023, and February 2023. 

More recent violations include: an on-site leachate release, on and off-site mud and dirt tracking, inadequate stormwater controls, off-site odors emanating from the landfill, uncovered or insufficiently covered landfill slopes, the presence of litter and poor site maintenance, and issues with the landfill’s secondary containment of its leachate storage area.  

This COA requires Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill to complete outstanding corrective actions from the February 2020 and October 2020 COAs which include: construction, reporting, and prompt operation of leachate conveyance, pre-treatment, and disposal systems upon receipt of a DEP permitting approval and proper application of daily cover. 

The landfill is also required to implement a corrective action plan to prevent sediment pollution and tracking and to ensure adequate daily cover and vegetation on slopes. 

The COA also requires a third-party environmental audit to evaluate the waste handling and operating systems, as well as air quality and surface water protective systems at the landfill. 

The landfill must also select and implement a DEP-approved environmental management system to help the landfill be in compliance with Pennsylvania laws and regulations and DEP permits over the next three years. 

The landfill must also conduct an audit of this system to ensure compliance and identify areas for further improvement. 

“DEP has documented violations and listened to community concerns about the operation of this facility, and we have insisted on a number of requirements through this agreement to improve operations,” said DEP Southwest Regional Director Jim Miller. “The third-party audit and environmental management systems include robust reporting so the public can verify the landfill’s progress.” 

DEP is currently reviewing an air quality plan approval application and waste permit modification application for a leachate evaporator system which is referenced in this agreement. 

The landfill is currently trucking its leachate for treatment and disposal, but trucking is not an appropriate long term option.  

DEP had taken previous enforcement actions against Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill. 

More information on the facility as well as related permits, authorizations, compliance, and enforcement actions by DEP can be found on the DEP Southwest Regional Office Community Information webpage.

For more information on environmental programs in Pennsylvania, visit DEP’s website, Report Emergencies, Submit Environmental Complaints; Click Here to sign up for DEP’s newsletter; sign up for DEP’s eNotice; visit DEP’s BlogLike DEP on Facebook, Follow DEP on Twitter and visit DEP’s YouTube Channel.

Related Articles:

-- Inquirer Guest Essay: DEP Needs To Evaluate Health Impacts Of Evaporating Leachate From A Westmoreland Landfill Accepting Shale Gas Drilling Waste [PaEN] 

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

-- DEP: Westmoreland Landfill, County Hauling Will Pay $25,000 Penalty, $25,000 In Lieu Of Penalty For Waste Transportation Violations [PaEN] 

-- DEP: Westmoreland Landfill To Pay $59,000 Penalty To Address Multiple Violations [PaEN]

[Posted: November 13, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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