The EPA forced the 19-acre landfill closed in 1986, and the trash accepted during its operation is still sitting on the site. Clint Shuff, Scioto County inspector for the EPA, called it the largest landfill in Scioto County.
“It was very poorly operated. It was on fire quite often and the operator would not comply by rules,” Shuff said. “One of the biggest problems was erosion. We had soil eroding off a very steep-sloped landfill that was going into an unnamed tributary that was going into Lick Run Lyra Creek. We had trash that was actually leaving the landfill, going into the creek.”
Most concerning about the erosion was leachate seeping into the soil and water. Shuff explained that leachate is a liquid that has come in contact with sold waste.
“Leachate has a lot of contaminates in it,” he said. “A couple years ago we had an individual that was deer hunting up there on that property and he fell in the leachate and got burned severely. In fact, he had to go to the hospital.”
The EPA is now cleaning the site by covering leachate spots with fresh soil to compact it and keep it from leaving the site. Shuff said leachate has not leaked into any main water lines and poses no air or water danger to nearby residents.
“There are some wells around the area that have not been tested. That would be up to each property owner, if they wanted to use their wells, they should have it tested if it’s close by that landfill,” Shuff said.
The EPA has spent about $200,000 cleaning up the site with help from contractors R.B. Jergens, from Vandalia. Projects like this one are being paid for using funds awarded by the court from this and other sites closed by the EPA. Monies are collected and added to a trust fund used for site remediation.
Shuff said contractors have been on the site for about three-weeks, and are expected to complete remediation this week before moving on to other sites in our area.
“We’ve got a couple other sites on our target list, but we’ll just have to wait until money is available and we get the contracts approved. We’ve got another big dump site on Pine Creek we’re looking at right now,” he said.
For more information about the Ohio EPA, visit them online at www.epa.state.oh.us.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.