LOCKPORT – The director of the Niagara County Refuse Disposal District said Monday that all landfill repairs sought by the state have been made.
However, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation said a fine might be levied against the county anyway.
District Director Dawn M. Timm said the county quickly repaired all the issues with Landfill 1, one of three owned by the county in Lockport, after what she described as an unannounced inspection by the DEC on May 19.
The DEC issued a notice of violation June 20, but spokesman Peter M. Constantakes said the agency has yet to decide whether it will order the county to pay a fine.
“The order is not finalized, so I can’t say what it will include,” Constantakes said in an email. “Note that in many cases, corrective action is undertaken before a final order is signed, so that the situation can be addressed promptly. That does not preclude financial penalties being part of the order.”
The inspectors found liquid leaking from the landfill on the Lockport Bypass and running into what the agency called a waterway.
“It all drains into a swale around the landfill,” Timm said. The problem back in May was that the truck the county uses to pump and haul leachate away for treatment was out of commission with transmission problems, so there was no way to remove the leaking liquid.
“Since then, we’ve been catching our leachate and fixing our erosion rills,” Timm said.
The state also flagged the county for liquid being too deep in the manholes at the adjoining construction and demolition, or C&D, landfill.
Timm said the leachate there is supposed to rise no more than two feet from the bottom of the manhole shaft. She said that on the inspection visit in May, the level of liquid in the hole was inches higher than it was supposed to be, and that the level was 8½ feet below the surface of the ground instead of the mandated 9 feet.
“We were actually nowhere near overflowing,” Timm said.