Former landfill owner fined for air quality violations
Republic is former owner of Delavan area landfill
November 23, 2010 | 08:39 AM
Madison — Republic Services of Wisconsin has agreed to pay $250,000 to settle state claims under Wisconsin's air pollution and solid waste management laws for violations at the Mallard Ridge Recycling and Disposal Facility in Delavan and the Kestrel Hawk Landfill in Racine, according to a press release from the Wisconsin Attorney General's Office.
Republic Services worked with the state Department of Natural Resources to take the steps necessary to ensure future compliance, according to Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.
Republic, a company headquartered in Phoenix, operated landfill gas collection systems at Kestrel Hawk and Mallard Ridge.
The systems collected landfill gas generated by the decomposition of waste and sold the gas off site as boiler fuel or fuel for turbine operation.
Unsold gas was supposed to be burned off at the landfill sites.
According to a complaint filed against Republic, at the Kestrel Hawk and Mallard Ridge facilities in 2008 and 2009, Republic Services violated the facilities' air pollution control permits when the flare to ignite the unsold gases went out.
The landfill vented unburned landfill gas and failed to shut down valves within one hour resulting in the release of uncontrolled landfill gas emissions into the atmosphere.
Republic was also accused of failing to notify the DNR of the venting if unburned gases in a timely manner.
At the Kestrel Hawk facility in 2008, Republic Services also violated the facility's landfill plan when it failed to seed the intermediate cover, failed to clean and maintain storm water drainage ditches and structures, and failed to properly train landfill personnel conducting load inspections.
The DNR regulates the nonmethane organic compounds in the landfill gas. Nonmethane organic compounds contain volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants, including benzene and vinyl chloride.
Volatile organic compounds contribute to the formation of ozone, which can be harmful to human health.
In 2004, Republic Services had settled another environmental lawsuit with the Wisconsin Department of Justice for $475,000.
Assistant Attorney General JoAnne F. Kloppenburg prosecuted the case. Dane County Circuit Court Judge Patrick Fiedler approved the settlement on Nov. 8.
In October, Veolia ES Solid Waste Inc. acquired the landfill from Republic Services Inc., along with a hauling operation based in Racine and a transfer station and single-stream material recycling facility and a collection operation in Waunakee.
According to a Veolia press release, the solid waste services firm provides collection, transfer, recycling and disposal services to more than 170,000 commercial and industrial firms and more than 1.6 million residences in 12 U.S. states, the Bahamas and Canada.