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COLERAIN TWP. - The Ohio EPA has granted an air permit to the Rumpke Sanitary Landfill in Colerain Township to allow the company to increase the use of odor neutralizer.
Rumpke's means of odor control has been at the center of an ongoing debate between residents and Rumpke officials for several months.
At issue is a disruption that developed in the north end of the landfill in 2009. The company says an unidentifiable "reaction" continues to occur 100 feet below the surface of the landfill, which is developing a new, distinct smell in the area.
Rumpke says it's not a fire and they do not know what causes it.
In April, residents attended an Ohio EPA hearing to challenge Rumpke's method of masking the landfill's stench.
Rumpke asked the EPA for permission to triple the amount of deodorizer used to contain the odor, but residents said they were worried the company wasn't working to fix the reaction.
"They say they're trying to be good neighbors, but they're breaking the law," resident Rich McVay told 9 On Your Side in April. "Ohio law says an organization that runs a landfill can't cause a nuisance."
Rumpke was granted an air permit Tuesday by the Ohio EPA to increase the use of odor neutralizer, if necessary, to contain the smell. According to a news release, Rumpke officials say a pilot study shows alternative options that may be more effective.
"Although the newly issued permit allows Rumpke to utilize more of the odor neutralizer, our company has continued to research additional options for odor minimization," said Amanda Pratt, director of communications at Rumpke, in a release.
"During the last month, we have piloted a liner designed to reduce odor impacts. We have installed 10 acres of the liner over sections of the reaction area. Early results indicate success. We are observing a reduction in odors and just recently we have been able to slightly reduce use of the odor neutralizer."
Rumpke began using an odor neutralizer — a solution made mostly from plants and fruits — in 1998. The company says the new permit will allow Rumpke to use 2,741 gallons of odor neutralizer mixed with more than 2.7 million gallons of water per month.
That solution will be distributed through more than "200 spray nozzles attached to more than 6,100 feet of hose, 20 industrial fans and mobile spray dispensers," according to the release.
Rumpke says the odor neutralizer poses no health risks and is used with the same ingredients used to make common household deodorizers and cooking oils.
Rumpke says in addition to using an odor neutralizer, the company has taken other courses of action to control the smell in the reaction area, including the following:
- Installing a 32,250 foot trench to capture odors
- A 56-acre odor control blanket
- Waster water lift stations with carbon-based odor scrubbers
- Surveys in the north end
- Installment of a second flare to capture odors
The landfill is located at 3800 Struble Road.
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