Virginia Attorney General And DEQ file lawsuit against “Trash Mountain” in Petersburg

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Posted by Brandon Jarvis

Attorney General Mark R. Herring and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality today announced the filing of a lawsuitagainst the CFS Group Disposal & Recycling Services, LLC (CFS) for its significant and repeated waste management violations at its Tri City Landfill in the City of Petersburg.
In the suit, Attorney General Herring alleges that CFS exceeded the permitted waste pile height, failed to properly maintain its stormwater control system, failed to adequately cover exposed waste, failed to maintain the required amount of extra waste cover, and failed to correct the violations in a timely manner even after being repeatedly notified. The suit was filed after the matter was referred to the Office of Attorney General by the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), whose staff provided the information upon which the suit is based, including inspections, two Consent Orders, one Warning Letter, one Notice of Violation, and notices to CFS of the ongoing violations on multiple occasions.
“CFS repeatedly received warnings that it was in violation of the law but it continued to ignore its responsibility to protect the land, air and water around the Tri City Landfill and failed to comply with waste management permits and regulations,” said Attorney General Herring. “Today, we are asking the court to ensure that CFS stops these violations and compensates Virginia accordingly for its role in damaging the environment around its Petersburg facility.”
“DEQ’s permits and regulations govern a variety of facilities and activities to ensure the protection of human health and the environment,” said DEQ Director David Paylor. “Ensuring facilities comply with these permits and requirements to maintain that protection is paramount.” 
The Commonwealth’s lawsuit asks the court to order CFS to comply with waste management laws and regulations, for the maximum allowable civil penalties, and for any other relief that the court believes to be appropriate.
The lawsuit explains that DEQ notified CFS of violations in September 2015, July 2017, July 2018 and August 2018, but the violations continued. The Commonwealth alleges in the suit four counts of illegal actions by CFS at the Tri City Landfill in Petersburg:
  • Failure to comply with Solid Waste Permit conditions regarding slope and elevation and continuing to place waste in areas of the landfill where those areas had already exceeded the final elevation
  • Failure to adequately maintain the landfill’s stormwater control systems, including allowing drains to become clogged, resulting in a breach of the landfill’s containment area and causing a runnel at the landfill to flood
  • Failure to maintain adequate daily cover, including allowing an approximately 15,000 square foot area of waste to remain uncovered for a period of a week 
  • Failure to maintain a stockpile of at least three days’ worth of acceptable cover soil or other approved cover material be readily available at all times for use as daily cover of waste

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