NEW RUSSIA TWP. — A proposed expansion of the Lorain County Landfill doesn’t pass the smell test with its neighbors.
“We’re going to get the noise. We’re going to get the dust. We’re going to get the odors,” Butternut Ridge resident Pat Justin said at a Tuesday public hearing on the expansion at the Carlisle Visitor Center in Carlisle Township. “How are you going to try to control that?”
If approved, the landfill — Lorain County’s second-biggest greenhouse gas polluter in 2010, emitting 146,524 metric tons — would increase its height 90 feet, according to Chris Jaquet, environmental manager of Republic Services, which runs the landfill. The expansion would increase cubic air space from 52.6 million yards to 62.2 million yards.
The 1,400-acre landfill, which opened in 1984 and accepts 4,000 tons of waste per day, is expected to reach capacity by 2028 with its current intake, Jaquet said. The expansion would allow the landfill to operate until 2035. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is expected to decide on the expansion in 2015, according to Jerry Parker, an environmental engineer with the EPA Division of Material & Waste Management.
Jaquet said the expansion is strictly vertical and there is strict monitoring for air and water pollution. “We won’t be changing the current monitoring network that’s in place right now with this expansion,” he said.
Republic in March was fined $450,000 by the EPA for nauseating odors from the plant and Bio Energy, which converts methane gas from the landfill into electricity, was fined $50,000. The fines were in response to 360 neighbor complaints since 2003.
Jaquet said fear of fines was incentive for Republic to comply, but neighbors were skeptical.
“Until we had a verified complaint and got the EPA involved, you guys did nothing,” Rick Justin, Pat Justin’s husband, told Jaquet. “We put up with it for years.”
The Justins and neighbors Michael and Susan Gerhardinger and Frank and Pat Redinger all moved into their homes before the landfill opened. They complained of sore throats and burning eyes from odors and dust.
“I look out the window and it’s Mount Trashmore,” Pat Redinger said.
Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.