COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Neil Shader, DEP
DEP Assesses $528,000 Civil Penalty against Waste Management, Inc. for Solid Waste Violations at Bucks County Landfills
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has assessed $528,000 penalty against Waste Management, Inc. for three landfills the company owns and operates in Bucks County.
The fine is being assessed for odor nuisance violations at Tullytown Landfill and leachate storage violations at GROWS, GROWS North and Tullytown Landfills. All three landfills are owned and operated by subsidiaries of Waste Management, Inc.
The $528,000 Consent Assessment of Civil Penalty is to resolve penalty liability related to the frequent and recurring offsite odor nuisances experienced by Florence, New Jersey residents, related to operations at the Tullytown Landfill, as well as leachate storage violations that occurred at all three of the landfills, located in lower Bucks County. Landfill leachate is a liquid, primarily from precipitation, that has permeated or drained through solid waste and must be treated onsite or transported to a treatment facility.”
“We received and verified complaints regarding offsite odors from Tullytown Landfill throughout a period from September 2014 through May 2015, despite efforts undertaken by the operator in an attempt to control and minimize their occurrence,” said DEP Southeast Regional Director Cosmo Servidio. “The number and persistence of the offsite odors warranted a civil penalty. In addition, Waste Management, Inc. was assessed a penalty for the storage of excessive amounts of leachate for unacceptable durations throughout the period of January 2013 through May 2015 at all three landfills. The storage violations resulted from Waste Management, Inc.’s inability to manage the leachate generated by the three landfills by its approved leachate treatment methods and necessitated the hauling of leachate to offsite treatment facilities in order to come into compliance.”
DEP recently renewed the Tullytown Landfill solid waste permit for a period limited to two years, after which the facility must cease waste disposal operations and properly close the facility. Public concerns regarding odor, noise, bird and aesthetic nuisances, received primarily from New Jersey residents were a significant factor in the DEP decision to limit waste disposal operations to no more than two years, said Servidio. GROWS North Landfill is permitted to receive waste until February 2019, at which time it will cease waste disposal operations and properly close. GROWS Landfill has been closed for several years and no longer accepts waste.