County: 5 things the EPA can do to battle stink coming from landfill

Montgomery County is asking the Ohio EPA to take specific actions because of Stony Hollow Landfill odor complaints. SKY 7 ?STAFF

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Montgomery County is asking the Ohio EPA to take specific actions because of Stony Hollow Landfill odor complaints. SKY 7 ?STAFF

Citing prohibitive costs to change, Montgomery County will continue to haul trash to a Dayton landfill that for months has been the focus of odor complaints by many nearby communities.

That decision not to change disposal sites was reached despite a request to do so from Moraine City Manager David Hicks, whose city has fielded more than 400 complaints about Stony Hollow Landfill since April 2016.

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However, the county - citing at least nine communities where landfill odor complaints have been lodged - is urging the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to take further action with landfill owner Waste Management.

The following five items are what the county is seeking from the Ohio EPA:

AIR MONITORS: Recommend ambient air monitors on a fence be placed higher than six feet to ensure effective odor collection and monitoring. Recommend that the ambient air quality be monitored more frequently to ensure that odor-causing events are not "missed" by the monitors.

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SHARE DATA: Make public the data from air monitors worn by landfill employees. The county wants assurances to confirm the odor "does not present a risk to public health or safety," as area health and Waste Management officials have said. The county "would be greatly reassured if Waste Management and/or regulators would make this information public…. as aggregate data."

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ODOR SURVEILANCE: Explain and/or improve how surveillance is being conducted because of the landfill odor complaints. The county has been told surveillance is being conducted three times per day, and in response to specific complaints. The testing, the county is told, consists of a person going out to a location and smelling the air. The county wants to know how effective this method is and that the odor surveys "are following OEPA best practices."

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- COMPLAINTS: Provide a single point of contact for landfill odor complaints and information. Complaints and responses are being filtered through multiple jurisdictions, regulators and public offices. The county wants the Ohio EPA set up a centralized way for people to file odor complaints and get more information about odors at the landfill. "This would greatly improve tracking of odor complaints and ensure that citizens are given accurate, timely, appropriate information."

- DRAFT ORDERS: Provide the county's solid waste district with a draft of the Ohio EPA's final findings and orders resulting from the landfill odor complaints. Agency officials have given Waste Management short-term orders and say they are in the process of establishing long-term ones.

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