- Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection has cited the Keystone Sanitary Landfill for three violations related to leachate handling, as reported by The Times-Tribune.
- While reviewing expansion plans for the site, DEP found that either a pipe or lagoon from the leachate treatment plant was leaking and had caused "groundwater degradation" on the site. A consultant for the landfill said this has been resolved by replacing lagoon liners and pipes. The landfill was also cited for a delay in notifying DEP about 13,500 gallons of pretreated leachate spilling in April.
- The local Friends of Lackawanna group said this is a "prime example" of why officials shouldn't approve a proposed expansion that would add nearly 45 years of capacity to the site.
Leachate contamination is a common concern raised by regulators and advocates around the country. When not managed properly it can have serious environmental consequences and often accounts for a large portion of operating budgets at many sites as a result.
Though proper leachate management is far from the only concern raised by advocates about the Keystone site. The landfill has been causing controversy for years because of its size as well as the fact that it imports large amounts of waste from other states. Katie McGinty made the site an issue in her unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate and held a joint appearance with the Friends of Lackawanna last month.
Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania has proposed a bill to limit interstate waste shipments in the past though it hasn't gained traction. As Boyd County, KY has learned since the Big Run Landfill stopped importing waste earlier this year closing off those opportunities can also lead to a decrease in revenue for local governments. While the idea of handling outside waste has been opposed in other states recently, some municipalities have also rejected the idea of handling their own waste as well leaving no easy answer short of a change in waste generation behavior.