The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has given the green light for a Greater Cincinnati landfill to expand.
Rumpke's Colerain Township landfill on Hughes Road secured from the state EPA an expansion permit, two air pollution permits for landfill discharge and a gas recovery facility and a permit for wastewater discharge for a stormwater pond, allowing it to move forward with plans to expand the waste disposal site by up to 240 acres.
The Ohio EPA held a public hearing about the proposed expansion April 2. Some attendees at that hearing voiced concerns about their property values, increased traffic from trucks hauling waste, a host of environmental issues and the possibility that the expansion would exceed height limitations set by consent decrees between Rumpke and Colerain Township officials in 2000 and 2015.
Rumpke says it is not a party to those decrees and that concerns should be directed to local officials. It also says the site expansion plans meet all environmental regulations.
"Ohio EPA has reviewed the permit applications and determined that they meet the requirements of Ohio's environmental regulations, inclusive of siting and location requirements," the EPA's response to public concerns reads. "The Agency's evaluation of the air, water and landfill permits concurrently helps to address the potential environmental impacts of the landfill operations and minimize adverse impacts. Today's permit actions have been issued with such terms and conditions necessary to achieve protection of human health and the environment."
Rumpke's site is currently authorized to accept 12,500 tons of waste a day — an authorization that isn't increased by the new permits, the Ohio EPA says.
Last year, the Hughes Road site accepted 2,346,857 tons of waste — almost 96 percent of it from Ohio and the remainder from Kentucky and Indiana.
The expansion will allow the site to continue to operate for the next 30 years, Ohio EPA officials said in a news release.
Residents and others can appeal the decision to the Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission within 30 days. The Ohio EPA recommends those interested in filing an appeal contact the ERAC at 614-466-8950.