Suit filed against Waste Connections, others in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
- A proposed class-action lawsuit against Waste Connections, three subsidiaries, APTIM Corp and the local government in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana was filed by lawyers on behalf of River Ridge resident George Ictech-Bendeck along with other unnamed residents on July 25.
- The suit — with unspecified damages — was filed based on complaints that odors emanating from the site lower property values and cause a nuisance for affected residents, as reported by The Times-Picayune. The document states August 1, 2017 as the start of the odor problems for residents.
- An earlier investigation found improper containment and disposal of leachate at the facility led to the current odor issues. The finding resulted in the resignation of the landfill engineer. At a press conference on July 23, Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni said he had told landfill operator LRLC that they were in breach of contract for failing to fully contain and prevent the odors.
In a statement reported by WGNO, Waste Connections President Worthing Jackman said, "As it relates to the allegation of foul odors coming from the Landfill, the landfill gas collection and control system at the Landfill is designed to capture landfill gases which cause odors. Jefferson Parish operates and maintains the landfill gas collection and control system at the Landfill, not LRLC. It is well documented that the landfill gas collection and control system at the Landfill does not function properly."
Such cases highlight that landfill odor complaints continue to be a serious management issue for facilities nationwide. Problems can arise from issues with cover maintenance, gas leaks or leachate management. Pennsylvania residents filed their own lawsuit against a Waste Connections site over odor issues earlier this month.
Regulatory decisions on landfills are often linked to odor issues. Last year, a facility in Michigan was given the go ahead to flare gas by Michigan Department of Environmental Quality after excessive methane emissions from the site led to complaints. Another instance occurred in California last year where the local city council decided to change its dumping site as a preemptive move to avoid litigation, leading to a price increase for commercial customers.
The cause of this particular odor issue in Louisiana is still under investigation. An air quality task force has been established by the local parish council and all liquid wastes are currently prohibited.
- The Times-Picayune Landfill odors cited in new lawsuit filed against Jefferson Parish
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