DEP Penalizes Clarion County Landfill $225,000

MEADVILLE – The Department of Environmental Protection has collected $225,149 from County Landfill Inc. in Farmington Township, Clarion County, for exceeding pollution limits established by the landfill’s federal wastewater discharge permit.

The penalty was collected under a consent order and agreement that was signed Wednesday.

“By failing to meet its permit limits, the company violated Pennsylvania’s Clean Streams Law, which was enacted 70 years ago to protect the state’s waterways,” DEP Regional Director Kelly Burch said. “Permit holders have a responsibility to meet their permit parameters in a timely and responsible manner.”

County Landfill operates a waste plant to treat leachate before it is discharged to an unnamed tributary of Walley Run. Leachate is the liquid waste generated from decomposing material buried in landfills. It may be discharged lawfully only as authorized by the wastewater discharge permit.

Beginning in April 2004, the landfill began to experience effluent violations. County Landfill tried a number of approaches to address the problem, including trucking the leachate off-site.

After determining that none of the attempts by County Landfill were totally successful, DEP issued a violation notice in October 2005 that instructed the landfill to submit a written operation and maintenance plan that would outline actions to bring the facility back into compliance by September 2006. County Landfill took action, but the attempts failed to bring the facility into compliance.

County Landfill consistently has failed to comply with its ammonia nitrogen, lead and nickel permit limits.

In addition to the $225,149 penalty, the consent order and agreement requires the facility to reach compliance with the wastewater discharge permit and the Clean Streams Law by June 30, 2009, and to obtain all necessary permits from DEP, including any permits that were required for past plant alterations.

The penalty will be deposited in Pennsylvania’s Clean Water Fund, which supports water quality improvement projects throughout the commonwealth.

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