A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Company that illegally dumped fracking waste in Estill County agrees to $95,000 civil penalty

The Energy and Environment Cabinet announced that it has reached an agreement in principle with Advanced Disposal Services Blue Ridge Landfill, Inc. (Blue Ridge) on an agreed order with both remedial and penalty provisions regarding the Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (TENORM) that was illegally brought there last year.

The proposed agreed order requires Blue Ridge to develop a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) consistent with the remediation requirements set forth in 401 KAR 100:030. The CAP must address the disposal of TENORM at the Estill County facility and contain a timeline for the completion of specific corrective actions and an estimated date for final compliance.

It also must have a plan, to be incorporated into Blue Ridge’s landfill permit, for detecting and preventing future disposal of unpermitted TENORM waste.

Charles Snavely

Charles Snavely

Blue Ridge also agreed to a $95,000 civil penalty that the Cabinet has agreed to offset by allowing the company to perform supplemental environmental projects. Specifically, Blue Ridge has agreed to deposit $60,000 into an escrow account for the Estill County School District to pay towards the detection and mitigation of naturally occurring radon.

The landfill company also will install radiation monitors at the Irvine facility and at its affiliated Morehead landfill, which did not receive any unpermitted TENORM waste. Radiation monitoring at the Irvine site will be incorporated into the company’s plan to prevent future disposal of TENORM waste and will be made included as a requirement of the Blue Ridge Landfill solid waste permit. The proposed Agreed Order requires that the escrow account be established and any monitoring devices be installed within 120 days of the Agreed Order.

In addition to the civil penalty, Blue Ridge has agreed to a stipulated $2,500 penalty if it fails to meet deadlines associated with submitting the CAP. Further, Blue Ridge has agreed to stipulated penalties in the amount of $25,000 for future acceptance of unpermitted TENORM waste.

“We take this action to ensure that the citizens of Estill County and the local environment are fully protected, with assurances that this will not happen again,” Secretary Charles Snavely said.

Fulfilling its commitment to transparency, the Cabinet today released a Public Notice and the draft Agreed Order to the public, for review and comment.

The Cabinet has been in active discussions with Blue Ridge relating to the disposal last year of out-of-state TENORM waste generated during oil and gas exploration and production. Records obtained during EEC’s investigation showed that ninety-two (92) loads of TENORM waste was illegally brought from West Virginia to the Blue Ridge Landfill in Kentucky in violation of KRS 211.859 and KRS 211.863.

The notice of violation issued in March 8, 2016 to Blue Ridge was for alleged violations of 401 KAR 47:190(8)(1) – inaccurate record keeping; 401 KAR 47:190 Section 8(5) – failing to timely comply with EEC’s request for records; 401 KAR 47:120(1) – failing to comply with its permit by accepting unpermitted waste; and for KRS 224.1-400(18) – failing to characterize a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant which was released into the environment based upon the initial 47 shipments.

The NOV requested remedial measures for each alleged violation. Those remedial measures relating to radiation surveys and dose assessments were developed in cooperation with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS).

This proposed Agreed Order does not resolve any violations of Chapter 211 of Kentucky Revised Statutes or any allegations that may arise from CHFS’s investigation into the generators, transporters, and brokers who arranged for the importation of TENORM into Kentucky.

The publication of this notice opens the public comment period on the proposed Agreed Order. Any person wishing to comment on the proposed Agreed Order must submit written comments to Jeff Cummins, Director, Division of Enforcement, Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection, 300 Sower Boulevard, Frankfort, KY 40601.

All comments must be submitted by 4:00 PM on November 21, 2016. The proposed Agreed Order and Public Notice may be accessed at this web address: http://dep.gateway.ky.gov/publicfiles/.

From Energy and Environment Cabinet Communications

Related Posts

Leave a Comment