Health board tables license request

STEUBENVILLE – The Jefferson County Board of Health agreed Tuesday to table a 2014 operating license request from the Apex Sanitary Landfill until the board receives a full report of notices of violation at the facility.

According to a letter sent to the landfill manager, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said it conducted four odor surveillance monitorings along public roads surrounding the facility from Sept. 23-25 in response to odor complaints.

“Detectable landfill gas odors were present along Jefferson County Road 78 east of the landfill, state Route 646 south of the landfill and secondary public roads extending up to three miles south and west of the landfill. Due to the presence of these offsite landfill odors, Apex has failed to strictly control odors as required by rule and is in violation,” the OEPA letter read.

“The OEPA expects Apex to immediately take the necessary measures to return to compliance with Ohio’s environmental laws,” the letter read.

The OEPA also noted staff members detected intense hydrogen sulfide odors and measured elevated concentrations on Sept. 26. “Elevated hydrogen sulfide concentrations continue to be measured along the intermediate covered areas.”

The OEPA also requested a conference within the next 30 days between Apex and the OEPA to discuss action taken by the facility to address odors, as well as Apex’s response to the notice of deficiency for the facility odor management plan.

In other business Tuesday, the board learned Jefferson County Assistant Prosecutor Emanuela Agresta reported she planned to file a request this week with common pleas court to move forward with legal action on the C&D Disposal Technology landfill near Wintersville.

“I will put the C&D landfill owners and their attorney on notice and hopefully within the next 30 days we can put this issue to bed. There is still a nuisance problem at the landfill, including leachate and open dumping. I hope we can move forward,” said Agresta.

Health Department Sanitarian Marc Maragos said one issue at the C&D landfill is the piles of tires at the site.

“Some of them are whole tires, while others are shredded. The Ohio EPA has a program to deal with large numbers of discarded tires and the state agency plans to remove those tires and properly dispose them. The OEPA was at the site Tuesday measuring the height and diameter of each tire pile and they will make a determination of how many tires actually are at the landfill,” said Maragos.

Maragos also told the health board that cleanup efforts are continuing at an illegal dump site near Dillonvale.

“The OEPA has determined there are approximately 1,000 in a ravine on the property owned by Weirton Lumber and the state agency is preparing to remove and dispose of those tires as well. The contractor hired by Weirton Lumber is also continuing to remove the solid waste illegally dumped at that site,” Maragos stated.

Health Department Administrator Bruce Misselwitz asked for board approval of a registration program for all private solid waste haulers in the county.

“This will assist us in determining how much solid waste is picked up every week and where it is taken,” explained Misselwitz.

He also told the health board members the Crestview and Belvedere sanitary sewer connections have been extended for another 90 days.

“After that time the board will have to force property owners to make the connection with the new sanitary sewer lines in the neighborhood,” he noted.

Maragos said there are 400 homes in the subdivision that need to connect, “and as of now about 50 homes have paid the fee to make the connection. There have been about 200 homeowners who have abandoned their septic system and have tied into the sanitary sewer system.”

Misselwitz said he has been in contact with a retired plumber who is willing to serve as as a part-time plumbing inspector for the county.

The board members also heard a report from insurance agent Jeff Criss who discussed the Affordable Care Act and how it will affect the health department health care coverage for its employees.