State reaches agreement with landfill over radioactive waste dump in Estill County

Published: Oct. 21, 2016 at 4:41 PM EDT
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The Energy and Environment Cabinet announced that it has reached an agreement in principle with Advanced Disposal Services Blue Ridge Landfill, Inc. (Blue Ridge).

The Agreed Order contains both remedial and penalty provisions regarding the Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (TENORM) that was illegally brought to the landfill in 2015.

The proposed Agreed Order requires Blue Ridge to develop a Corrective Action Plan which must address the disposal of TENORM at the facility and contain a timeline for the completion of specific corrective actions and an estimated date for final compliance. It also must have a plan, to be incorporated into Blue Ridge's landfill permit, for detecting and preventing future disposal of unpermitted TENORM waste.

Blue Ridge also agreed to a $95,000 civil penalty that the Cabinet has agreed to offset by allowing the company to perform supplemental environmental projects. Specifically, Blue Ridge has agreed to deposit $60,000 into an escrow account for the Estill County School District to pay towards the detection and mitigation of naturally occurring radon.

The landfill company also will install radiation monitors at the Irvine facility and at its affiliated Morehead landfill, which did not receive any unpermitted TENORM waste. Radiation monitoring at the Irvine site will be incorporated into the company's plan to prevent future disposal of TENORM waste and will be made included as a requirement of the Blue Ridge Landfill solid waste permit.

In addition to the civil penalty, Blue Ridge has agreed to a stipulated $2,500 penalty if it fails to meet deadlines associated with submitting the CAP. Further, Blue Ridge has agreed to stipulated penalties in the amount of $25,000 for future acceptance of unpermitted TENORM waste.

"We take this action today to ensure that the citizens of Estill County and the local environment are fully protected, with assurances that this will not happen again," Secretary Charles Snavely said.

Fulfilling its commitment to transparency, the Cabinet today released a Public Notice and the draft Agreed Order to the public, for review and comment.

Any person wishing to comment on the proposed Agreed Order must submit written comments to Jeff Cummins, Director, Division of Enforcement, Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection, 300 Sower Boulevard, Frankfort, KY 40601.