On Feb. 6, 2018, Arbor Hills Landfill received a 901 violation for failing to comply with the requirements of the federal Clean Air Act and other acts and rules.
As the violation notice states, this is a direct result of odor complaints sent by the communities surrounding the dump.
In response to odor complaints submitted from January 16-18, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Air Quality Division conducted an odor evaluation at Arbor Hills Landfill on Jan. 25, 2018 to determine if the facility was in compliance. AQD staff performed the investigation. Read the MDEQ evaluation
They detected a “distinct and definite objectionable landfill odor in the residential area on North Napier Road downwind of the facility.” They determined it to be a Level 3 on the 5-level MDEQ odor scale.
The odor was strong enough to violate Rule 901(b), which also constituted a violation of Rule 433(1)(c) since the landfill odor created a nuisance odor beyond the landfill’s property boundary.
As of Jan. 25, 2018, the MDEQ had received 71 odor complaints from December and January alone. The MDEQ conducted numerous on-site inspections and complaint investigations in the area.
The most recent observation “appears to indicate the solid waste and compost handling or management are inadequate.”
Advanced Disposal Services has until Feb. 28, 2018 to respond to the violation notice with an explanation, a summary of actions and steps to prevent a recurrence.
Arbor Hills Landfill has received two violations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this year and four violations from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).
- Violation – Republic Services (BFI Waste Systems of North America)
- Violation – Arbor Hills Energy (Fortistar Methane Group)
The EPA conducted ambient air sampling and surface monitoring that resulted in the violations for violating the Clean Air Act.
“We’re somewhat taking over,” said Kenneth Ruffatto, an EPA environmental engineer who oversees Arbor Hills.
He said the EPA has been working closely with the MDEQ and will continue to do so. The EPA is keeping logs of odor complaints submitted to the MDEQ. Ruffatto said it’s important to specify the type of odor you smell, if possible, when you submit odor complaints to the MDEQ because it helps identify the source.
He said neighbors should smell garbage occasionally but the odors Arbor Hills Landfill has been emitting for the last year and a half are unacceptable and the EPA is working with Advanced Disposal, BFI-Republic Services and Fortistar Methane Group-Arbor Hills Energy to remedy the issue.
“We’re not confident yet if it’s safe or unsafe,” Ruffatto said.
On Nov. 8, 2016, the MDEQ’s Office of Waste Management and Radiological Protection issued the latest violation to Arbor Hills. Review the violation
The MDEQ’s Air Quality Division has logged 422 odor complaints this year as of November 4 — about 40 of them in November.
The Feb. 2, 2016 violation the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued to Advanced Disposal and Republic Services asked for a response by Feb. 15, 2016. A Freedom of Information Act request returned the three documents below.
On Feb. 2, 2016, both Advanced Disposal and Republic Services were named in a violation issued by the Department of Environmental Quality.
Violation notice – Arbor Hills West Expanded Sanitary Landfill