DEP Fines Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill $24,000 To Resolve Waste Violations; Drilling Waste Impacts On Leachate

On February 18, Department of Environmental Protection announced it has negotiated a consent order and agreement with Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill, a residual/municipal waste landfill located in Rostraver Township, Westmoreland County, to address violations of its permit and the Solid Waste Management Act.

This is one of a series of actions related to leachate generated in part by drilling waste deposited in the landfill and the refusal of the Belle Vernon Municipal Authority to accept the leachate for treatment because the leachate was upsetting the wastewater treatment process.  Click Here for more.

This agreement requires Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill to pay a $24,000 civil penalty and undertake a number of corrective actions, which include:

-- Minimize leachate generation by reducing the working face of the active uncovered area where precipitation permeates through the landfill waste;

-- Submit a permit modification application to authorize trucking of leachate on a temporary basis while the landfill pursues approval from DEP to install equipment to treat and evaporate leachate, and/or to use other methods to allow the landfill to cease routine trucking of leachate; and

-- Submit documentation to DEP of agreements and authorizations for the treatment facilities currently accepting its leachate along with notification if those facilities should change prior to DEP approving a modified leachate management plan.

Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill had a private service agreement with the Belle Vernon Municipal Authority to treat the landfill’s leachate-- conveyed via pipe-- at the authority’s wastewater treatment plant.

The private service agreement between the landfill and authority, in place since 1994, was terminated by the authority in May 2019.

Days later, the landfill was also ordered by the Court of Common Pleas of Fayette County to cease discharging landfill leachate to the treatment plant. Since then, the landfill has been transporting its leachate via tanker truck to other treatment facilities in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Pennsylvania landfills are not permitted to accept liquid waste; however, liquid leachate is often generated by moisture in the waste itself and stormwater infiltrating through the landfill’s waste.

Leachate is a component of operations at all landfills and must be treated onsite or transported to a separate treatment facility.

Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill’s leachate management plan approved by DEP as part of its current waste permit does not authorize the landfill to transport its leachate by tanker truck to any facility, and must be modified to allow even interim trucking.

Additionally, trucking is not an advisable permanent option for leachate management because of the inherent environmental risks of spills, accidents, and the local impact of as many as 18 daily truck trips.

Click Here for a copy of the consent order.

Questions on this announcement should be directed to Lauren Fraley, DEP Southwest Regional Office, by calling 412-442-4203 or send email to:


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Joint Conservation Committee: Belle Vernon Municipal Authority Taking A Stand Against Pollution From Drilling Waste

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[Posted: February 18, 2020]


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