Perry landfill draws more fire

Published 2:32 am Friday, February 5, 2010

UNIONTOWN — As trains loaded with coal ash from Kingston, Tenn. continue to roll into the Arrowhead Landfill near here, 155 residents — through their attorney — have filed notice with landfill operators they intend to sue.

David A. Ludder, a Florida-based environmental attorney, sent the letters on behalf of his clients to landfill operators Phill-Con Services, LLC and Phillips & Jordan Inc. earlier this week.

The two letters charge those addressed with polluting the air and with violation of the federal Solid Waste Disposal and Clean Air acts.

Email newsletter signup

The specific problem: the smell.

Those in charge of the landfill say it’s running within legal guidelines.

The Perry County landfill was approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to receive millions of tons of coal ash that spilled last year at a Tennessee Valley Authority plant near Kingston, Tenn.

The residents represented by Ludder had filed a similar letter in December with Perry County Associates, who with Perry Uniontown Ventures, own the permits and land at the site.

Those two entities filed for bankruptcy Jan. 26, which prevented any lawsuits from being filed against them until the bankruptcy is settled, which could take years.

On Thursday officials said wastewater containing contaminants, such as arsenic, will be transported from the Arrowhead Landfill for treatment and disposal by the Mobile aRea Water and Sewer System.

The city of Marion wastewater treatment plant was treating the landfill liquid and discharging it into a creek until December. State officials said the landfill did not have the required permits.

More than 100 rail cars deliver the waste each day under a $95 million contract with landfill operators. Excess liquids contained in the coal ash collect in the bottom of the landfill and must be sucked out and treated.