Health Board Against Plan by Apex Landfill

The Jefferson County Board of Health on Tuesday unanimously opposed a request by the Apex Sanitary Landfill to accept non-hazardous bulk liquids from shale oil and gas drilling operations for disposal at the landfill.

Health department Administrator Bruce Misselwitz told board members he received an email Friday from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency containing a draft letter of approval for a solidification facility at the Apex landfill.

The landfill operators have proposed processing the waste through a proposed solidification basin and then disposing of the created solid wastes at the Apex Sanitary Landfill.

Health Commissioner Dr. Frank J. Petrola said Tuesday he has concerns about radon and other radioactive materials that may be contained in the drilling waste.

“I informed the OEPA the health board will object to this proposal and the board members will be verbal in their opposition. My understanding is this process is already in operation in Poland, Ohio, and Perry County,” said Misselwitz.

“The landfill can’t control the odors at the landfill, so how are they going to control this? … We need to object to this and make it a national issue,” said board member Dale Featheringham.

According to OEPA spokesman Kristopher Weiss, “landfills have been accepting drilling mud.”

The draft letter from the OEPA has 18 conditions the landfill must meet if final approval for the solidification facility is granted, including conditions for monitoring radioactive materials. But Fritz Tulencik of the Tri-County Concerned Citizens group said no one monitors the material received at the landfill on a 24/7 schedule.

In other business Tuesday, Jefferson County Assistant Prosecutor Emanuela Agresta said she has filed contempt of court charges against Joseph Scugoza of C&D Disposal Technologies, and a hearing in Jefferson County Common Pleas Court will be held on Nov. 5.

The managing partner of the C&D Disposal Technologies landfill agreed in August to temporarily close the facility pending its sale to the Delaware-based United Waste.

A temporary restraining order was issued on July 12 prohibiting the landfill near the Jefferson County Airpark from accepting solid waste at its recycling center.

Scugoza could not be reached for comment.