Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Citizen Complaint Veolia Landfill

Citcomp for Veolia Landfill.
Please accept this citizen complaint on behalf of John L. Wathen, Hurricane Creekkeeper, and Friends of Hurricane Creek. (FoHC)

Longitude= -87.47365951538086
Latitude =33.22863658699034

On 08/26/09 I flew with SouthWings over the Veolia Landfill in Holt Alabama (Veolia ES Eagle Bluff Landfill, inc. Permit # 63-16.) I spotted the following issues at the site.

See photos in next post “Veolia photos

A large area of the landfill is discharging into Callahan Branch with no retention or treatment of any kind.

Where the old discharge point used to be is now being diverted into a “retention area” not seen in the original permit. It lies along the GM&O RR tracks at the back of the landfill. I can find no standpipe for slow discharge. Instead I found where the pond is flowing out alongside the tracks and then into Hurricane Creek.

From the air I could see what looked like failing BMPs so I went back on 08/30/09 in the rain to ground-truth the site. I found the following issues.

1. Failing BMPs throughout.
2. Nonexistent BMPs in places.
3. Inadequate retention ponds and improperly constructed ponds.
a. It is my belief that no permit modification has occurred allowing the railroad bed to be used as a dam for retention purposes. Standing water will eventually saturate the rail bed and possibly cause it to slump or fail all together. A copy of this report is being sent to the railroad for permission verification.
b. The retention pond on the East slope is not performing properly allowing silt and extreme turbid water to enter a private lake downstream. That lake then discharges directly into Hurricane Creek within the TMDL segment listed for turbidity.
c. The “borrow pit” or soil storage area does not have adequate retention to hold back the volume of area discharging through it. It is only about 25” X 25” and filled to over capacity. There is a breach in the containment due to poorly constructed dam and inadequate size. The breach is allowing all water from the borrow pit to discharge with no treatment into Callahan Branch.
4. Allowed silt and extreme turbid water to escape the site from many locations.
5. Caused offsite siltation at every discharge point.
a. Callahan Branch is inundated with a huge silt deposit that will be impossible to mitigate except through time and nature. Veolia LF should be made to invest in an offsite remediation project in the watershed to mitigate damages.
6. Caused offsite silt deposit in huge amounts into Hurricane Creek, a TMDL stream
listed for turbidity.

This is not the first complaint or comment offered by FoHC at this facility. We commented on the permit renewal stating the same non-compliance issues stated here in this report. ADEM refused to read the comments because they were received late. This was due to my sending the comments to the wrong address at ADEM. The comments sat at ADEM 4 days before anyone walked them across the hall to the right office. Those comments are included with this complaint along with a previous complaint ADEM did nothing about.

This facility is causing extreme siltation and turbidity with every rain event. I have only included the most recent dates here. I have many other photos of this site out of compliance dating back to 2006. I can share these with EPA region 4 if needed via CD.

Please advise us of any action EPA region 4 may take in this matter.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

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