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A landfill in US reached a $2M settlement in a lawsuit about odours

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tullytown landfill   Tullytown is located in Burlington County in the U.S. state of New Jersey. There, the corporation Waste Management, Inc, (WM) runs the Tullytown landfill since the eighties. This is one of the 293 active landfill disposal sites that this company manages, but this one is special because this landfill receives several odour complaints from the community. The odour annoyance was so noticeable that the Waste Management had to agree to pay $2 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of residents on both sides of the Delaware River who claimed that noxious odours lowered property values and affected their quality of life.

  The Houston based corporation Waste Management, Inc (WM) was founded in 1971 and runs 293 active landfill disposal sites. Not many companies in the world run this number of landfills. One of their plants is located in Tullytown, New Jersey and the residents around this area have long drawn complaints about the smell of this Landfill.

    This activity has being routinely inspected by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) since its opening in 1988. Citizens could even track this Environmental permit with automatic email updates from the DEP.

  On May 2015 following a permit review process, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ordered the company to cease all waste disposal operations on or before May 22, 2017 and completely close and cap the landfill. Residents' concerns were cited as a significant factor in its decision.

  Before that, on December 10, 2014 a complaint was filled and later an Amended Complaint was registered on May 14, 2015. On August 14, 2015, plaintiffs moved for class action and on September 1, 2015 a Settlement was reached. The operator of this Pennsylvania landfill agreed to pay $2 million to settle the class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of residents on both sides of the Delaware River

   The tentative settlement calls for Waste Management to pay $2 million to residents near the Tullytown landfill, which had long drawn complaints about its smell from Burlington County and Bucks County, Pa. The homeowners claimed that noxious odours lowered property values and affected their quality of life.

    Under the proposed deal, Waste Management was also required to install and operate two odour misting systems for about $300,000, apply odour control suppressants on weekends for about $300,000 and power wash the docks and walkways of the Florence Marina twice a month. In addition the reception of wastewater treatment sludges or biosolids was also forbidden due to their high odour content.

   Read more about this history in this very interesting and well documented article written by Cristina Rojas, from the New Jersey On-Line LLC.

   There is also a very interesting article that I recommend to read written by Elise Young showing what looks like the point of view of WM.

 

  Photo source: CATSOT


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