Apex Landfill seeks to dispose of liquid waste at Amsterdam wastewater plant

STEUBENVILLE — Officials with Apex landfill approached the Jefferson County commissioners Thursday about the possibility of disposing of some of its leachate in Amsterdam’s new wastewater treatment system.

“We’re looking to upgrade our capabilities at the landfill,” COO Anthony Rizzo said. “I’m aware Amsterdam is in the midst of a wastewater treatment project and wanted to see if there was a way we could combine our efforts.”

Rizzo said the landfill currently hauls its leachate to “about four different locations.”

Prophet Equity in January announced the merger of Apex Environmental Resources Holdings with the Action Environmental Group Inc., and now operates as Collectively Interstate Waste Services Inc.

“The issue we’ve had in the past when we looked at it is leachate is a pretty concentrated substance,” Commissioner Tom Gentile said. “At one point when we talked to Apex some time back, what they wanted us to take on a daily basis was more than the entire capacity of the plant we’re building.”

The $11.4 million sewer project, which should be done by year’s end, will service about 400 homes, with about one-quarter of them in Carroll County. County Water-Sewer Superintendent Mike Eroshevich said the system is needed because faulty septic tanks in that area are dumping wastes into Yellow Creek.

Rizzo said they “could do a percentage, could work in conjunction with the plant you’re contemplating putting on the site.”

“You know what stage we are in this project, right?” Commissioner Dave Maple said. “All the funding sources are in, the project is two months ahead of schedule — this is a done deal.”

Maple said it’s unlikely their funding agencies would allow them to rethink the project this far in, and asked Rizzo how he envisioned them being able to “come up with a collaboration.”

“I would go to our engineering firm, see if it’s feasible in an engineering way to put something together,” Rizzo said.

“I will tell you our funding sources will not let that happen,” Maple replied. “We can’t make changes in the project midstream. When the project is all over and the doors are closed, maybe there’s an opportunity at that end. But I will tell you the relationship between your company and Jefferson County has not been a good one. I’d really have to understand how this could benefit Jefferson County. With all due respect, benefiting your host community is not something (Apex) has done since its been there.”

Rizzo said the change in ownership and philosophy is significant.

“We have the expertise to make it happen. Significant improvements are (being made) every day,” he said.

“If there is no way to interrupt the project as it is due to our funding sources, do you see an opportunity after our project is done that you would still be interested?” Maple asked.

“I do, sir,” Rizzo replied. “And, if you deem it appropriate, perhaps it would be worthwhile for our engineering company to speak with your engineering company in case it could facilitate conversation in the future.”

Gentile said there won’t be much excess capacity with the new sewer system, “particularly when you’re talking about leachate.” But, he said the plant was “possibly expandable to some extent.”

“It’s truly a scalable operation, it’s not an all-or-none proposal,” Rizzo added. “There’s great variation in the level we can clean leachate to be acceptable at a facility like yours.”

In other business:

¯ Commissioners were notified a longtime tenant at the towers, psychologist David R. Bousquet, is closing his doors. Bousquet, who has leased space in the building since February 1977 — long before it was purchased by the county–blamed the decision on COVID-19 pandemic.

¯ Assistant Prosecutor Michael Calabria advised commissioners there was no problem with them purchasing a truck for the Jefferson County Water and Sewer Department from a local supplier, even though it would cost about $230 more than if they used the state purchasing program. Commissioners had approved the purchase of the $29,091 truck from TEAM, contingent on the prosecutor’s opinion. Calabria told commissioners the threshold for competitive bidding is $50,000.

¯ Approved payment of an invoice for nearly $4,840 for the Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District’s hellbender preserve.

They also held the second public hearing on the county’s $212,000 Community Development Block Grant allocation for 2020. Projects proposed for funding are:

¯ Mingo Junction: Paving Commercial Avenue from the underpass to Logan Avenue, $56,550. “We did sidewalks and curbs previously, we put water and sewer lines in years back,” village Service Foreman Tim Eddy reminded commissioners. “All we need is that paving to try and get some more businesses downtown.”

¯ Rayland: Resurfacing Liberty Avenue, $56,525. Village officials said they were “trying to get enough money to resurface the road, make it a decent road.”

¯ Steubenville Township: Repairing a slip on Battle Run Road, $56,525. A township official said the slip area extends about 90 feet and is second on the road, though the first one was covered by FEMA.

The county’s CDBG application is due in Columbus June 17.


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