A landfill in north Forsyth recently received more than $200,000 in fines from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
EPD officials recently released enforcement orders for violations of the state’s Air Quality, Water Quality Control and Comprehensive Solid Waste Management acts including fines of $500, $3,500 and $205,300, respectively. Per the division’s website, all three violations have the same cause and requirements.
The violations found that officials with Advanced Disposal, which owns the landfill, “failed to ensure permanent slope stability” after instability was observed “throughout most of 2014 and by a separate instability that was observed beginning May 17, 2018.”
The landfill closed unexpectedly to commercial traffic after the May incident and was cited by the EPD in August.
An EPD memorandum states that cracking was observed in a cell — the areas of the landfill where waste is stored — on May 17, “the same day a significant seep” started leaking leachate from the slope.
The landfill previously had instability in 2014 caused by large amounts of liquid within the waste and that waste being weaker than dry waste.
The memorandum stated the 2014 incident should have “made clear the significant differences between design assumptions and operation practices” and the landfill should have limited high-moisture content waste.
Other violations include releasing contaminated stormwater into “wetland adjacent to the Etowah River,” which exceeded effluent limits; Advance Disposal not certifying outfalls were not visually tested or evaluated in 2017 for non-stormwater discharges; failure to maintain a flame on flare when venting landfill gas; safety factors related to seismic conditions; not operating as designed for leachate – liquid that drains from a landfill – generation and management, which resulted in outbreaks; accepting “waste with material properties” not allowed under current rules; and uncovered solid waste.
The website also lays out the requirements of the three orders, such as capping receipt of high-moisture content waste in solid waste cells, submitting a weekly report of Cells 13 and 14, making modifications to a design and operation plan, making modifications to the gas collection and control system plan, a total emissions statement, a report of actions previously taken and plans for any remaining issues for Cells 13 and 14 and submitting an application for a solid waste handling permit including new plans.
Within 30 days of the submission of two reports, submit an assessment report evaluating “components of the closure and post-closure care plans” potentially impacted as a result of unstable conditions and proposing modifications to account for costs incurred by instability. Effluent limit monitoring will also need to be completed and included in a report addendum within 45 days
An application submitted in November 2016 to expand the plant “will be held” until the respondent has satisfied certain conditions in the order, EPD has determined the landfill is in compliance with the solid waste handling permit and landfill officials requests in writing the EPD once again review the application.