Complaint filed by South Huntingdon officials against landfill
For Cindy Kelley, living next to a hazardous waste facility in Yukon for six years has meant inhaling what she describes as “terrible smells” when the wind blows across the the dump, which operates “day and night.”
“On some days, it smells to high heaven,” Kelley said.
On other days, thick dust makes it tough to see beyond her neighbor's house.
In response to residents' complaints, South Huntingdon officials have filed a criminal complaint against landfill operator MAX Environmental Technologies Inc. of Upper St. Clair, alleging it violated a 1966 township ordinance by storing industrial waste within 600 yards of the nearest public road — Spring Street — and by allowing noxious odors and dust to escape.
A preliminary hearing on the matter will be scheduled before Scottdale District Judge Charles Moore.
MAX environmental engineer Carl Spadaro said MAX didn't know how the ordinance applied to its operations in Yukon and questioned how the township determined it was violating the ordinance.
The complaint seeks a maximum of $87,400 in fines, records indicate.
The company chemically treats waste at its 159-acre facility to make it nonhazardous and suitable for disposal, according to documents. It solidifies residual waste such as drill cuttings that contain water for eventual disposal.
South Huntingdon code enforcement officer John Shannon said he prepared the criminal complaint after hearing from neighbors on Spring Street who were upset about the odor and dust from the site.
“It's bad up there sometimes. How much is misery worth? Life should not be that way,” Shannon said.
Toni Bazala, whose Spring Street property abuts MAX Environmental, said there are days when it seems “like a dust storm that comes across the property,” dropping sand on her cars and house. Bazala said MAX has paid to wash the exterior of her house.
In addition to South Huntingdon's complaint, the state DEP stated on April 25 that MAX was “in violation of (state) odor” regulations.
Spadaro said the company is reviewing the state's correspondence and will meet regulators to discuss their allegations. MAX officials advised the state they don't believe “that we are in violation of the regulations they are citing,” Spadaro said in an email.
MAX has tried to identify potential sources of odors, but it has been difficult because the state, township and neighbors only recently said it was a “cement-like odor,” Spadaro said. MAX has changed the method by which it grades and compacts waste in the landfill and has applied “odor suppressants” and other materials to neutralize the waste.
Air monitoring around the landfill has found no contaminants, Spadaro said.
South Huntingdon Supervisor Mel Cornell said the smell intensified when MAX began taking cuttings from natural gas drilling operations.
“It creates a really bad odor,” Cornell said.
Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Coming off hill revives Seton Hill University, downtown Greensburg
- Westmoreland community leaders discuss how to meet hunger needs
- ‘Bride’ goes on at Geyer theater in Scottdale
- Marathoner hit by vehicle in Murrysville recuperates
- Mutual Aid plans fundraising throughout Westmoreland County to bolster member numbers
- 4 seek 3 nominations for Southwest Greensburg council
- Latrobe pharmacy will offer overdose antidote
- Charges filed in stolen property investigation
- Playground plans in Sewickley Township on hold
- Greensburg Hempfield Area Library board to consider tax referendum
- Wrongful death suit against Westmoreland Manor settled