Scott County residents score victory against landfill! | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Scott County residents score victory against landfill!

Scott County residents attend hearing to oppose the proposed landfill expansion

This piece is written by member Beth Emery of Scott County. She and other members of the community led a fight against the Central Kentucky Landfill after it was proven there was illegal dumping in the landfill by the company that owns the landfill. Members in the Rolling Bluegrass KFTC Chapter joined the work in raising awareness about this issue, promoting and attending fiscal court meetings, zoning board meetings and more. The chapter is thrilled to be able to share what residents have won in Scott County, and celebrate their victory with them.

In 2015, Waste Services of the Bluegrass (WSB) was found to be improperly disposing of 22 000 tons of electronic waste in the Central Kentucky Landfill.

The state Division of Waste Management issued WSB the following notices of violations:

  • Allowing nonconforming waste in the CDD landfill
  • Failing to comply with permit conditions
  • Failing to implement a program for detecting and preventing hazardous waste
  • Failing to record daily work cell maps
  • Failing to restrict the working face to the smallest area practical
  • Failing to place minimum daily cover over exposed solid waste

In October 2016, WSB entered into an Agreed Order with the state. The Agreed Order included a fine, an order to fix all the problems listed above, an order to stop accepting waste in the CDD landfill, and an order to close the CDD landfill by February 2, 2018.

In January 2018, a month before the deadline, WSB requested an extension to the deadline for the CDD landfill closure. State officials amended the Agreed Order to give WSB a nine-month extension, changing the deadline to close the CDD landfill to October 30, 2018. The state also fined them $20,000 for failure to comply with the Agreed Order and added an additional penalty of $3,000 a day for every day the CDD portion remained open past the October 30 deadline.

In September, a month before the arrival of their new extended deadline, WSB got approval from state officials for a “minor modification.” The modification included an extension of an additional 2-3 years to close the CDD landfill and outlined two different options for closing it:

  • Option A: WSB wanted to expand the landfill to accept more out-of-county and out-of-state waste. If the Division of Waste Management approved the expansion, WSB would cover 11.94 acres of the 14 acre CDD landfill with an MSW (municipal solid waste) liner, which would act as both a cover for the CDD landfill and a liner for new trash that they could pile on top of it.
  • Option B: If the state didn’t approve the expansion, WSB would cover the CDD landfill with dirt.

In response to the state approving the minor modification, a group of local citizens filed a Petition for Review and Hearing. It was our hope that the state would be forced to revoke the minor modification permit and that WSB would be ordered to close the CDD portion of the landfill immediately.

Our efforts were eventually rewarded and on June 22, 2020 the Kentucky Energy and Environment Secretary ordered WSB to begin construction to close all 14 acres of the CDD landfill within 30 days. We will continue to monitor the situation as we advocate for environmental justice in Scott County.