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EPA agreement on Countywide Landfill; includes extensive monitoring and capping plan

Release Date: 04/11/2008
Contact Information: Mick Hans, 312-353-5050, hans.mick@epa.gov, Karen Thompson, 312-353-8547, thompson.karen@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 08-OPA056

(Chicago, Ill. - April 11, 2008) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 today entered into an administrative order on consent with Republic Waste Services Inc., the operator of the Countywide Recycling and Disposal Facility in East Sparta, Ohio. The order requires Republic to take a number of actions to protect human health and the environment at a projected cost of several million dollars. The company will also reimburse EPA for oversight expenses.

"This is an important milestone on the path to resolving the many community concerns at Countywide," said Regional Administrator Mary A. Gade. "We expect Republic to move quickly on these necessary steps."

The order was negotiated in consultation with Ohio EPA. The order requires Republic to:

  • Install a series of enhanced landfill gas extraction wells.
  • Install an enhanced landfill temperature monitoring system and perform monthly thermal imaging using airplanes.
  • Develop a comprehensive landfill cover and long-term capping plan for cells #1 through #6 that will work in tandem with Ohio EPA's existing orders to dewater the landfill and capture landfill gases.
  • Develop and execute an expanded air monitoring plan.
  • Stabilize areas of the site by backfilling and grading, and installing erosion and storm water controls.

Moving forward, EPA will be the lead agency ensuring compliance with this order. Ohio EPA and the Stark County Health Department will continue to oversee day-to-day operations under a state waste facility permit. Ohio EPA will also continue to monitor compliance with all previously issued State Director's Final Findings and Orders.

The Countywide landfill opened in 1991. About 275 acres of the site are permitted for disposal of solid waste. The site contains about 600,000 tons of aluminum process waste. The aluminum waste reacts when it comes into contact with liquids, generating noxious odors and heat. The reaction may also result in the release of gases from the site. Ohio EPA formally requested EPA assistance at the site this February.
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