Apex Landfill concerns heard

STEUBENVILLE – Jefferson County Health Department Administrator Bruce Misselwitz will meet with the Apex Sanitary Landfill management team next week to discuss the response to telephone odor complaints.

“We want to determine how long it takes for a response once a complaint is called into the landfill’s complaint line. We have been told the average response time is about 20 minutes. I want to hear from the landfill operators how fast they respond to complaints,” Misselwitz told the board of health members Tuesday morning.

According to Sondra Mullins who lives in the vicinity of the landfill, “it has been up to 40 minutes for a response.”

“I have seen the landfill odor readers park across the road from my house with their window rolled up. Fortunately the wind has been blowing in the other direction the past few days so I am not smelling that stench from the landfill,” Mullins said.

“The landfill is supposed to have odor readers on the road at all times,” she added.

“I want to see a response time as soon as possible. I know it is hard to live with the odor and I would like to see the landfill responding to complaints and dealing with the complaints,” said Dale Featheringham, a board member.

Erin Strouse of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday afternoon the state agency “continues to have discussions with Apex regarding their odor control plan. We hope to have a resolution to the issue as soon as possible.”

The OEPA issued a press release in December 2011 announcing a settlement with the landfill operators regarding solid waste and odor violations.

“This plan contains odor monitoring practices, best management practices for active waste disposal operations, major odor control systems and landfill gas control and collection systems. Apex is required to implement the plan to monitor and control odors emanating from the landfill,” according to the 2011 press release.

In other business Tuesday, the board approved sending a resolution to the Jefferson County commissioners that will require the remaining 22 property owners in Pottery Addition to tie into the new county sanitary sewer system.

“The Jefferson Soil and Water Department has gone door to door telling the property owners they must comply. This resolution will inform them the next step will be legal action,” said Misselwitz.

He also told board members he had reached an agreement with Harrison County to send a sanitarian for certain work there eight hours a week.

Misselwitz also reported the health department will perform physical health exams for the Toronto City School District.