PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - For years, CFS Services has been called out for violations of waste management at its Petersburg landfill location, but Friday in a public meeting at the Union Train Station in downtown Petersburg, dozens of anxious residents were informed of the latest twist in the drama surrounding the landfill.
In attendance at the meeting were representatives from the Department of Environmental Equality (DEQ).
Director of land protection and and revitalization at DEQ, Justin Williams, explained to the public that after an inspection at the Tri-City landfill back in July conducted by the DEQ, even more unresolved violations were found. DEQ along with the Attorney General’s Office decided to take legal action to get CFS to resolve these ongoing issues.
“Based on what we’ve observed, we referred the alleged violations to the Attorney General’s Office for a lawsuit and we’ve also initiated a process to revoking their solid waste permit," said Williams.
In the lawsuit, Attorney General Mark Herring alleges that CFS has four major waste management violations at its landfill in Petersburg and failed to correct the violations in a timely manner even after being repeatedly notified.
The lawsuit explains that DEQ notified CFS of violations specifically in September 2015, July 2017, July 2018 and August 2018, but the violations continued.
Those four violations include:
- Failure to comply with Solid Waste Permit conditions regarding slope and elevation and continuing to place waste in areas of the landfill where those areas had already exceeded the final elevation
- Failure to adequately maintain the landfill’s storm water control systems, including allowing drains to become clogged, resulting in a breach of the landfill’s containment area and causing a runnel at the landfill to flood
- Failure to maintain adequate daily cover, including allowing an approximately 15,000 square foot area of waste to remain uncovered for a period of a week
- Failure to maintain a stockpile of at least three days’ worth of acceptable cover soil or other approved cover material be readily available at all times for use as daily cover of waste
DEQ said of the fourth violation, that if corrected, could diminish the foul odors coming from the landfill, a persistent issue that Petersburg residents have been complaining about for years.
Pending the lawsuit, Kim Hynes with the Virginia Waste Management Authority said they are requiring CFS to stop taking in waste from the city of Petersburg to its Tri City Landfill.
“We have required that they take it to another properly permitted facility until such time as they are compliant with the state laws and regulations,” said Hynes.
That waste is instead going to another landfill CFS manages in Lunenburg County over and hour away from Petersburg, and all of this is at CFS’s expense.
CFS has been transferring Petersburg waste to its Lunenburg County Landfill since November 29, 2018, however the Petersburg location is still operational and CFS is responsible for management of the facility.
Marry O’Brien from 'Meridian Waste,’ the company that oversees CFS was also in attendance.
She assured the dozens of residents that Meridian Waste will get to the bottom of the issues plaguing the landfill.
“We want to be working with DEQ to make sure that we are getting plans implemented for change and that we can address their four complaints as well as your issues,” said O’Brien.
The lawsuit asks the court to order CFS to comply with waste management laws and regulations, for the maximum allowable civil penalties, and for any other relief that the court believes to be appropriate.
The DEQ said during litigation they will continue to have oversight over the Pertersburg landfill.
You can find more information on the lawsuit here.