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Lack of permits brings landfill to standstill

NEGLEY– After the original plan was to move the loadout to Signal Rail Terminal, PennOhio Waste did not obtain the proper permits to do so. As a result, over 100 fully-loaded rail cars are sitting still in the Youngstown area.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) said that any significant landfill operations, including rail unloading of waste, would require air and storm water permits. Once they found out that PennOhio was operating without permits, the OEPA told them to stop.

According to County Commissioner Tim Weigle, in order to move the loadout point to Signal, PennOhio has to specifically acquire an air permit, a waste water discharge permit (NPDES permit) and a leachate collection system. While the rail cars have some netting on top to minimize the debris, weather conditions further complicate the situation.

According to Weigle, there is no containment system for the liquid decomposition following rain. If there are any openings at the bottom of the rail cars, there is concern that the rain water will leak.

Weigle said that PennOhio has suspended operations until Jan. 1, but he expects that it will take close to three months for them to obtain the proper permits to operate again. PennOhio must also have a license to operate in the 2020 year. An annual license is required and issued by the licensing authority, the local health department or the OEPA.

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