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Fayette County residents sue over landfill fumes

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Saturday, March 8, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Residents living near a Fayette County landfill they claim is emitting noxious fumes went to court Friday seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

In a lawsuit, residents of 60 homes near the Chestnut Valley Landfill on McClellandtown Road in German claim the odors coming from the dump are hurting them and their properties.

“The underlying cause of the offsite odors ... is defendant's negligent and reckless failure to control and contain the landfill gas generated within,” the suit states.

An official at the landfill declined to comment, referring questions to Advanced Disposal Services, a waste collection company in Florida that runs multiple sites along the East Coast and in the Midwest.

In the suit, 144 people living near the landfill claim they have suffered the “loss of use and enjoyment of their properties” in addition to “annoyance, inconvenience and physical discomfort.” The majority live on Messmore and McClellandtown roads.

In an email, company spokeswoman Mary O'Brien said she could not comment specifically on the suit.

“We are aware of the neighbor's concerns and have taken numerous measures to minimize any impact. We have conducted numerous tests and ... we have been monitoring air quality continually and results show that any presence of the reported odor poses no threat, ” she wrote.

Attorney Todd S. Hageman said the residents have not “filed any claims for personal injury.”

The state Department of Environmental Protection collected air samples in October in response to complaints and reported the “potential for exposures to landfill gases” in nearby areas. State officials recommended additional engineering controls.

O'Brien said the state Department of Health on Feb. 7 issued a report, requested by the DEP, which found “no health threats.”

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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