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Crossridge landfill slapped with court orders

STEUBENVILLE — Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Michelle Miller has issued several court orders pertaining to the Crossridge landfill, one of which is the termination of the unlawful discharge of leachate.

Two members of the county health department environmental health division went to the landfill on Aug. 28 and discovered leachate, which is created when water passes through solid waste, was being pumped from a tank and discharged over a hill above Cross Creek.

The health department has notified the owner of the landfill, Joseph Scugoza of Steubenville, of numerous violations at Crossridge, the closed sanitary landfill, and the construction and demolition landfill at the facility located off Fernwood Road, Wintersville.

The Ohio attorney general’s office has filed for an injunction in common pleas court to stop the illegal dumping of the leachate.

Miller held a hearing on prior violations at the landfill and incorporated the filing of the injunction into the hearing.

The judge on Wednesday issued a series of orders to Scugoza about the landfills, ordering him to cease the “unlawful discharge” of leachate.

Miller, in her order, said Scugoza must ensure all leachate is lawfully disposed of at a wastewater treatment facility, and provide biweekly receipts to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Scugoza also was ordered to install a pump and flow meter for the leachate storage tank that accurately records the volume of the liquid removed from the tank, and provide the data to the Ohio EPA.

The court case against Crossridge dates back to 1999. The landfill was denied a license to operate the landfill, and was ordered to be properly closed, which has not happened.

Miller ordered Scugoza to cover all exposed waste and erosion at the construction and demolition landfill, and seed and mulch the surface of the landfill by Oct. 31.

Scugoza was ordered to remove 1,500 tons of solid waste per month, beginning this month, from the open dump area, and provide receipts to the attorney general’s office.

Miller said all events and activities at the site cease immediately, including ATV riding. The judge said, if Scugoza can show funds derived from activities at the site will be used for environmental compliance, she could then allow the continued use of the property.

The judge also ordered Scugoza to provide personal financial information to the state.

Miller told Scugoza to notify the Ohio EPA no later than Sept. 30 of the selection of a third-party engineering consultant he will contract with to properly close the Crossridge landfill.

Scugoza also was ordered to meet with the Ohio EPA no later than Oct. 15 to discuss closure of the Crossridge landfill. He has until the end of the year to show he entered into a contract with the engineering consultant, and, no later than April 1, show that construction on the closing of the landfill has begun, according to Miller’s order. The landfill closure must be completed by Oct. 1, according the judge.

Miller has scheduled a hearing for Oct. 7 to assess Scugoza’s compliance with the order, ordering him to personally appear.

The judge said failure to comply with the orders could result in the attorney general’s office seeking sanctions for contempt, including financial penalties, the barricading of the site to prevent entry and a possible jail sentence.

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