UPDATE: August 13, 2019: The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved necessary permits for Rumpke Waste and Recycling to proceed with a 240-acre landfill expansion in Colerain Township.
According to the agency, the landfill is allowed to accept up to 12,500 tons per day and could see its lifespan extended by another 30 years. The EPA also approved a related wastewater discharge permit and two air pollution permits. One air permit is for GSF Energy, which owns gas recovery operations at the site.
In response to public comments, the agency deferred to local officials about whether the landfill's final height might violate prior consent decrees. Any permit appeals must be submitted to the Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission within 30 days.
- After years of discussion, Rumpke Waste and Recycling is poised to receive a decision from the Ohio EPA regarding the proposed 240-acre expansion of Rumpke Sanitary Landfill in Hamilton County, as reported by WKRC.
- The landfill, which is located north of Cincinnati, has less than four years of constructed capacity remaining, according to Corporate Communications Manager Molly Yeager. The expansion would provide the landfill with an additional 20 to 25 years of capacity — and, unless it receives approval, customers can expect a roughly 20% hike in service costs.
- Staff from the Ohio EPA and the Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency walked local residents through four draft permits — including one landfill permit, one wastewater discharge permit and two air pollution permits —connected to the project at a final public meeting on Tuesday.
The project, which would increase Rumpke Sanitary Landfill's footprint from 597 to 939 acres through a vertical and lateral expansion, has been under discussion since 2006 — and the company has faced an uphill climb for much of that time. Rumpke won a lengthy legal battle with Colerain Township over zoning in 2016 — but only after reaching a pricey agreement with local officials for additional taxes and fees, as reported by WCPO. Last year, Rumpke paid the township $2.63 million.
Tuesday evening's public information session — which provided attendees with an overview of the draft landfill expansion, wastewater discharge permit and two air pollution permits — represents one of Rumpke's final barriers to receiving approval for the project. According to the company's expansion application, it won't be a second too soon: the landfill's continued operation is "essential to fulfilling both the immediate and long-term solid waste disposal needs of the citizens of Ohio."
"The facility is especially critical to the people and businesses in the Cincinnati area," the application stresses. "Without the RSL facility, the area could be faced with the possibility of having to haul solid wastes a considerable distance for disposal."
Such a situation, it notes, would "undoubtedly result in a detrimental impact on the economic prosperity that is currently enjoyed in Cincinnati and which is due, in part, to low solid waste disposal costs."
Rumpke Sanitary Landfill, which first opened in 1945, serves approximately 2 million residents and 20,000 businesses in a 60-mile radius. According to the EPA, it handles more waste than any other in Ohio and receives the vast majority from in-state, unlike other area sites.
The company has also announced plans to add 270 gas recovery wells, rebuild gas recovery plants in partnership with operator Montauk Energy and make other infrastructure investments as part of the expansion.
Despite the highlighted service fee increases, some residents are standing firm in their opposition to the project, citing odor emissions from the landfill and other ongoing issues. All members of the public are invited to submit comments for the record until April 9.