UPDATE: Advanced Disposal signs agreed order with Kentucky over radioactive waste

UPDATE: Advanced Disposal has signed an Agreed Order with Kentucky's Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) regarding the TENORM illegally dumped in the Blue Ridge Landfill in 2015, as reported by KY Forward. This signature follows the Cabinet's review of proposed orders and confirms the terms of the agreement previously reported by Waste Dive. It also includes terms that will require Advanced to install radiation monitors at the Blue Ridge site as well as the affiliated Morehead landfill within 120 days. Such monitoring will be a requirement of the Blue Ridge Landfill solid waste permit.

"We believe that this Agreed Order – and the Corrective Action Plan that is to follow – will protect the citizens of Estill County and the local environment now and in the future," Secretary Charles Snavely said in a statement. "We appreciate the stakeholders who participated with us in bringing this process to this point."

Dive Brief:

  • Kentucky's Energy and Environment Cabinet announced terms of a proposed agreement with Advanced Disposal Services Blue Ridge Landfill Inc. that require the company to remediate radioactive waste dumped at the site and pay multiple penalties, as reported by The Richmond Register.
  • The company must develop a specific, timely plan for the safe disposal of 92 loads of technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials (TENORM) which were improperly dumped. Failure to submit the plan by deadline or choosing to accept TENORM waste in the future will result in fines.
  • The company will pay a $90,000 civil penalty which the state will allow it to offset by doing other environmental projects. Advanced will put $60,000 in an escrow account for detection of naturally occurring radon in the Estill County School District. 

Dive Insight:

This radioactive fracking waste came from out-of-state in 2015 and Kentucky's Cabinet for Health and Family Services will continue to investigate the logistics of how this was allowed to happen. Since a notice of violations was issued in March of this year a number of companies have been involved in ongoing litigation

Importing waste of any kind from other states can spur community opposition and those feelings are often strong when it comes to radioactive waste from fracking or other sources. New York's Albany County banned fracking waste from landfills last year and some have advocated for a statewide ban. Recognizing these challenges, the Department of Energy has been looking for ways to bring economic benefits to communities that accept nuclear or high-level radioactive waste.

After a brief delay, Advanced Disposal went public last month with an IPO that raised about $347 million by selling more than 19.2 million shares of stock. The company has reportedly also been considering a potential debt restructuring. 

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Filed Under: Corporate News Landfill Regulation