Ontario County landfill tackles runoff, addresses safety

Wastewater runoff at the Ontario County landfill has once again landed the landfill in hot water with the state.

Heavy rains Aug. 13 and 14 forced stormwater runoff to overflow a containment berm at the landfill on Routes 5 and 20 in the town of Seneca. The overflow violated the landfill permit and was caught during a state Department of Environmental Conservation inspection regarding a previous, similar violation, said Canadice Town Supervisor Kris Singer, who heads the county committee overseeing the landfill. Singer said the committee was briefed on the matter at its meeting Sept. 4.

“We are working to stabilize those slopes,” said Joe Fusco, vice president with Casella Waste Systems Inc., answering questions Wednesday. Fusco said Casella has engineers working to prevent further troubles.

All the runoff stayed on site, going into a retention pond, Fusco said. Because the runoff “had come in contact with solid waste,” Casella and the DEC agreed, “It would be collected and treated at a wastewater treatment plant,” Fusco said.

Last year, DEC inspections turned up similar violations involving stormwater runoff.

In one case, runoff from a landfill slope entered a diversion berm above a construction area, mixed with leachate, and then flowed to the stormwater ditch where the sample was taken. In another instance, staff observed what the DEC described as “a substantial contrast in the turbidity of water in the tributary to Flint Creek caused by discharge from a stormwater pond.”

The DEC has been after the landfill to solve soil erosion problems for awhile now, calling for repair to berms, removing sediment from ditches and stormwater ponds, and creating ample vegetative cover and site grading among other improvements.

Singer said that when the DEC found the most recent violation, inspectors were on site inspecting the status of fixes to previous violations.

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