JB Green talking sale of landfill assets

STEUBENVILLE -Members of the JB Green Team board of trustees will review all current and future programs at the November meeting after they learned Monday the parent company of the Apex Sanitary Landfill has sold its rail assets and transfer stations in New Jersey.

Cliff Meyer, executive director of the JB Green Team, said the sale will mean out-of-state solid waste will no longer be delivered to the landfill in western Jefferson County by Jan. 1.

“Last Thursday I was visited by Anthony Rizzo of Environmental Logistics Services who informed me because of certain circumstances they will be selling their rail assets and cease transferring out-of-state solid waste to the Apex Landfill. I invited Mr. Rizzo to today’s emergency board meeting, but he told me about an hour ago he cannot discuss the sale and its impact on the Apex Landfill on the advice of his attorneys,” Meyer told the trustees.

Meyer said his staff found a press release dated Oct. 12 announcing EnviroSolutions Inc. had acquired the New Jersey-based waste-by-rail transload and intermodal facility operations of ELS.

“The acquisition includes ELS’ interesta in New Jersey Rail Carriers and New Jersey Transloading, the long- term operating lease of NJRC, rail cars and containers, additional operating equipment and customer contracts,” according to the press release.

“We have seen the amount of out-of-state solid waste falling every year while drill cutting waste has increased. They have told us the solid waste has fallen off this year due to negative publicity and bad press. We saw a 9 percent reduction in total revenue from the landfill tipping fees in 2012, and so far this year we have seen a 7.2 percent decrease in revenue from the tipping fees,” explained Meyer.

“I asked for this meeting to inform the board of the latest developments. And, we need to look at all options and expenditures. I will prepare a cost analysis of all of our programs as well as the benefit of our programs. At the November board meeting in Bellaire I will ask you to decide what to do as we move forward. We will need to re-evaluate our capital program and seed funding and consider our plans for a litter enforcement program and dump site cleanups,” announced Meyer.

“There are a lot of unknowns at this point. The company that bought the ELS rail assets already has landfills in southern West Virginia and in Ashland, Ky. We don’t know yet if the new company has a contract with Apex,” added Meyer.

Jefferson County Commissioner David Maple urged caution, “because we don’t know what tonnage loss we are looking at yet.”

“This is so premature. We’re talking about significant changes, but we are speculating in an emergency fashion. If the funding from the landfill stops we we don’t run out of money until 2017,” commented Maple.

The news of the sale and possible loss of out-of-state solid waste may also affect the current writing of a new 15-year operating plan that is due at the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency next year.

The JB Green Team is preparing to launch a test curbside recycling program in Steubenville and Martins Ferry next month.

“We are in the middle of our solid waste plan update for the OEPA. We felt it was important to discuss this with you,” said Jim Skora of CT Environmental, the consulting firm preparing the 15-year operating plan.

“I met with Mr. Rizzo last week as well and he said there will not be any out-of-state solid waste brought to the Apex Landfill after Jan. 1. He did say the local and out-of-district solid waste will continue to be delivered to the landfill. No one knew anything about this until they came to town last week,” said Jefferson County Health Department Administrator Bruce Misselwitz.

“But even with a reduction of waste coming to the landfill, nothing changes in the rules and regulations. The OEPA and the health department will still be monitoring the landfill,” added Misselwitz.

The county board of health agreed last week to table a 2014 operating license request from the Apex Sanitary Landfill until the board receives a full report on 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 to Sept. 25 in response to odor complaints.

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.