- Officials and residents in Boyd County are at their wits' end with a stinky situation. The county's Fiscal Court called for Kentucky regulators to shut down or severely restrict the Big Run Landfill outside of Ashland due to its unpleasant smell.
- Residents have long complained about the smell, leading to 10 odor citations issued since May. The Department for Environmental Protection has determined the landfill’s gas collection system remains deficient. The landfill's permit is up for renewal.
- Parent company EnviroSolutions Inc. of Virginia said it is working to fix the odor problem. If the state won't close the landfill, county officials want to reduce its total capacity by two-thirds, as well as implement strict air and operational monitoring.
Boyd County residents have spoken, and the state and EnviroSolutions need to listen — and act.
The Courier-Journal reported that the landfill was intended to be "a cash cow, with up to 90% of its waste coming by rail from out of state." The "trash train" dump brings economic benefits to the area, including employing 72 local people with a 2014 payroll of $3.1 million, according to Scott Cunningham of EnviroSolutions.
However, no community should have to tolerate a sickening stench, which is causing some residents and students from local schools to "suffer," according to Candy Messer, an active member of the Citizens of Boyd County Environmental Coalition.
Big Run Landfill should immediately work toward compliance regarding odors and its gas collection system. If it doesn't, the state should be prepared to take dramatic steps.