25 Year Ohio Landfill Controversy Finally Reaches Settlement

garbage truckThe Lucas County commissioners in Ohio approved a settlement 25 years in the making on Tuesday, Oct. 13. The settlement was made with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for the last remediation plan to cleanup the former King Road Landfill, according to the Toledo-based newspaper ToledoBlade.com.

“This has taken a long, long time,” said John Borell, a Lucas County assistant prosecutor.

The deal that was struck calls for long-term monitoring and maintenance of the 104-acre dump just west of King Road. It is in full compliance with a 1992 consent agreement with the state EPA.

Also approved at the meeting was a $318,000 settlement involving the companies that allegedly polluted the landfill with industrial and hazardous material over the course of the 23 years the landfill was open. Along with the $1 million the county previously secured from other businesses that had engaged in similar activity, that money will provide the funds for the remediation plan that’s projected to cost about $70,000 a year.

The issues with the landfill go back many decades. Water disposal began there in 1954, even though the dump was never lined with an impermeable barrier or capped and didn’t stop until 1976. It wasn’t until 1989 when the state EPA filed a lawsuit in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to force the county to seal the landfill to prevent it from draining into the nearby Ten Mile Creek, where it could negatively impact the water and contribute to the 80% of water pollution that’s caused by domestic sewage in this country.

The committee and EPA debated a plethora of options but settled on a remediation plan that will include adding additional soils, and long-term monitoring, maintenance, and operation for the next 30 years at least.

“Our priority is that the site will be managed in a way that protects human health and the environment and we believe this plan accomplishes that,” said Dina Pierce, a spokesperson for the Ohio EPA.

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