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Board to seek charges against landfill

September 19, 2012
By DAVE GOSSETT - Staff writer (dgossett@heraldstaronline.com.) , The Herald-Star

STEUBENVILLE - The Jefferson County Board of Health unanimously agreed Tuesday to seek contempt of court charges against C&D Disposal Technologies for failure to follow preliminary orders issued by Common Pleas Court Judge David Henderson on Aug. 8.

According to Health Department Administrator Bruce Misselwitz, the landfill located near the Jefferson County Airpark has been inspected recently by Health Department Sanitarian Carla Gampola and an inspector from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, "and the situation is getting worse."

"The landfill operators have not taken care of the landfill leachate problem as mandated by the preliminary order agreed to by managing partner Joseph Scugoza and by assistant Prosecutor Emanuela Agresta. The gates to the landfill are locked but there is no closed sign on the gate. And the landfill operators have not provided their tonnage records with our office," said Misselwitz.

Scugoza could not be reached for comment. He had agreed to temporarily close the facility following lengthy negotiations with the health department and Agresta until the landfill was sold.

"The landfill will be allowed to accept metal and masonry and the masonry must be used with 24 hours. Nothing else can be accepted at the landfill. Mr. Scugoza will provide the health department information within the next seven days on waste material accepted at the landfill from December 2011 until July 31 in order to determine the tipping fees owed the health department," Agresta announced following the court hearing.

"C&D also agreed to continue to abate the nuisances at the landfill, which is primarily leachate and odors. They have agreed to eliminate those nuisances," said Agresta.

"We have complied with all local and state regulations and rules. We have made major infrastructure improvements to the facility and we have come in substantial compliance with the health department requirements. We have worked with the cards dealt us. Yes, we have had problems but we have worked with the health department and the OEPA to resolve the issues," stated Scugoza following the court hearing.

"The health department has been as fair as they could be," Scugoza added.

He said most of the landfill's 60 employees have been laid off because the landfill has ceased operations.

"We have four people out there cutting the grass, recycling the materials and doing the daily work. But this agreement will allow us to preserve the landfill pending the sale of the facility within the next 60 days. After that, I will not be involved with this facility," remarked Scugoza.

"Unfortunately the company has not been able to pay the tipping fees to the health department in recent months. We simply didn't have the money. But I hope this is all resolved within the next 60 days," noted Scugoza.

In other business Tuesday, the health board approved a resolution for the reimbursement of funds spent on tuberculosis and children with medical issues.

The board also approved a motion to seek contempt of court charges against Robert Parks for his property on Township Road 234.

"We gave Mr. Parks 30 days to clear the material from his property, but he is bringing in more debris and material," reported Gampola.

"During a recent court hearing Emanuela Agresta and Jim Abrams reached an agreement to give James Wellington and Jennifer St. Clair six months to clean up their property at 16560 state Route 152 in Toronto. Mr. Abrams made it very clear to his client he has to make progress," said Gampola.

Also, Gampola noted a bank has foreclosed on property owned by Elizabeth Carroll at 1521 Hukill St. in Brilliant.

"We are now contacting the bank about the illegal dump on that property and hope to have the bank clean up the lot," Gampola said.

The board approved a plan to install a 1,500-gallon holding tank for restroom facilities at the Bergholz baseball fields.

"They currently use several Port-A-Johns there, but I believe this is a better solution. I estimate they will have to have that holding tank pumped out three times a year," explained health department Sanitarian Mark Maragos.

Misselwitz reported there are ongoing issues with the Apex Landfill not reporting odor control data.

"They say they are recording the odor complaints but we are not getting the documentation. We will meet to discuss the issue once more and if we don't receive the data, we will issue a notice of violation," stated Misselwitz.

He also said there have been no cases of West Nile virus reported in Jefferson County.

"Generally the danger from the mosquitoes stops when temperatures are in the mid 40s. So that may be coming soon," added Misselwitz.

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