DEP Finds 71 Deficiencies with Camp Hope Run Landfill Proposal
CLEARFIELD – At Tuesday’s meeting, the Clearfield County Commissioners reported that the state’s Department of Environmental Protection has identified 71 deficiencies with PA Waste LLC’s Camp Hope Run Landfill permit application. PA Waste now has 90 business days to resolve the deficiencies.
PA Waste is proposing the construction of a landfill that would be located on an 845-acre facility boundary along state Route 153 in Boggs Township. It would be double-lined and able to receive 5,000 tons of waste daily for the next 25 years, according to previous GantDaily.com reports.
Commissioner Joan Robinson-McMillen said on Feb. 21, the commissioners were notified of PA Waste’s technical deficiencies within its permit application. She said these included missing dates and forms, providing incorrect maps, needing further soil and water analysis, not having right-of-ways to electrical and gas lines, using aquifers, mitigating wetlands, effecting deep mines in the area, etc.
According to Robinson-McMillen, PA Waste indicated that deep mining in the permit area was not identified during the permit process. However, she said its submitted maps show a former clay mine entry south of the proposed landfill. She said the DEP indicated that the extent of this deep clay mine has not been definitively addressed in the application. Robinson-McMillen said that the DEP sought further information on the extent of this mine and or a plan to further evaluate its extent.
She said that PA Waste stated that more than 100 borings were installed during the surface mining period and the landfill subsurface investigation. She said it further stated that several borings were extended to the elevations of the coal and clay, and that none of these borings encountered deep mines.
Robinson-McMillen said following the DEP review, the submitted maps indicated that the grid density of the bore holes is sparse and that the likelihood of a boring encountering a mine void would be speculative. She said the DEP is requesting further investigation into the extent of the clay mine that has a surface location approximately 1,200 feet southwest of a monitoring well. At present Robinson-McMillen said the DEP stated there is little supporting evidence by PA Waste to conclusively show that the mine does not extend beneath the proposed landfill. She said the DEP requested that PA Waste further address whether the potential for subsidence at the site still exists.
She said the DEP was also concerned about the grade of the first layer and the coarseness of the layer and the rock. She said if the rock is too coarse and a liner is placed over it, it could poke through. She said the DEP also wants PA Waste to address how frequently the seams of the liner would be checked, as well as its plans for the acid rock that needs moved and the construction of the Camp Hope Run landfill.
Commissioner John A. Sobel said the DEP also stated concerns regarding part of the cover material being old mine spoilage. He said the DEP’s concern is about how porous that may be and whether PA Waste is adequately dealing with surface runoff, as opposed to the filtration of water down through the material. Sobel said the DEP also doesn’t believe it’s received sufficient information about the old clay mine location and the impact it might have on the site.
Commissioner Mark B. McCracken pointed out that PA Waste hasn’t yet finalized a traffic study through the state’s Department of Transportation. He said the DEP had pointed out the old clay mine, an issue that had also surfaced many times, including at the public meeting on Jan. 22. McCracken said the DEP also noted the landfill could cause damage with the aquifer that feeds all the municipal water systems in the area.
McCracken then read the mining comment at the conclusion of the DEP letter, “Currently, the former Kaufman Operation has two abandoned discharges of acid mine drainage, which are being treated using funds from the Al Hamilton Treatment Trust. Upon issuance of a waste management permit for this operation, the permittee will have to assume treatment operations for these discharges and provide financial assistance for the long-term treatment of these discharges. The existing treatment systems are malfunctioning and need to be replaced or rebuilt”
McCracken said the commissioners had never heard that the current treatment systems were malfunctioning. As a result, he was publicly questioning why the DEP is even waiting, as the landfill permit and construction could be years off. McCracken said, “Why isn’t the treatment system being replaced or rebuilt right now by the Al Hamilton Treatment Trust? I think that’s a key question that needs to be asked.”
Robinson-McMillen said that on Feb. 14, the commissioners were also notified of a technical deficiency in PA Waste’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for which it has 15 business days to clarify. So far as the NPDES permit, McCracken said PA Waste wanted the authority to release the treated leachate water into the Clearfield Creek.
McCracken said he’s consistently questioned PA Waste’s ability to construct and operate a landfill.
“As far as we know, PA Waste has never operated a landfill before,” he said, “and here we are with 18 pages of deficiencies on one permit and the clear deficiency on the NPDES permit.”