Residents in Middleton Township start Facebook campaign to fight against landfill
Some residents in Negley say they can't sit on front porches, or let their kids play outside.
They have complained about the dust from Penn Ohio Waste Landfill, owned by Noble Environmental Incorporated in Pennsylvania, and shaking of their homes.
Chad Davidson said, "They are open from 5 a.m. to 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. The noise, the shaking of my house is awful. Negley residents shouldn't have to live in these conditions period. It must be damaging our foundations. Our property values have gone down. We pay taxes. What gives the EPA the right to come into our town without even having a vote on reopening the dump after it was closed? They built the landfill on top of an aquifer. Some of the wells in Negley have started to test positive for methane gas. We question whether this is form the toxic leachate from when they unload the cars. It gets rained on and gets into the water source. The dust is so bad. I want to know what is in the dust. The Ohio EPA won't tell us. I worked in construction and know often there is lead paint, asbestos in construction demolition and debris. We want that landfill shut down."
Don Vos said, "This landfill should never have been put in there. There was a class three-stream there. There was an Indian Mound or burial ground on that site. When they unload railroad cars, there is pounding on the ground. It's shaking neighbors' houses, and the Ohio EPA knows about it and has done nothing about it. There are video's of garbage in the rail cars, regular house garbage mixed in with the construction debris. We were told the landfill was going to stop operations at eight at night, but that is a lie. Township trustees have done nothing to help. We want to see them voted out of office. My personal belief is that they get paid for every ton of garbage that goes in there."
The finance officer for Middleton Township did not have the data with him about how much the township gets paid in tipping fees. He did confirm the township does receive a percentage of the tipping fees. 21 News has put in a verbal request for the public information and will put in a written public records request for the amount of money the township has received from the landfill.
Harry Evans, who grew up in Negley, added, "If they don't do something, Ohio will become a dumping capital. They are bringing in trash 24-7 by rail and trucks. There was an Indian burial ground on top of the hill, but it's gone now. There is no trace of it. We were not allowed to play near it when we were kids. The landfill is ruining the community. There is a veteran who lives nearby, and he can't sleep because of the banging and clanging. The people next door won't let their kids outside to play because of the dirt and the dust. We never had to have bottled water in the past."
The groups making landfill complaints want Middleton Township Trustees to pass a noise ordinance, so the business would be required to cease operations after 8 p.m. They want an ordinance to address the dust they say is created by business at the facility and a ground monitoring system to address the shaking of their homes. They say before the landfill operating, they did not have to buy bottled water. The homeowners want trustees to request monitoring on what chemicals are leaching into the ground from the landfill materials.
The Ohio EPA issued notices of violations to Noble Environmental landfill in Negley. The notices of violations have been issued to the company on several occasions. The most recent violations were issued Sept. 17, 18, 20, and October 20th. Penn Ohio is working with the Ohio EPA to resolve these most recent violations. OEPA says Penn Ohio is working with the agency to resolve the most recent violations.
The people who are fed up, have started a petition for residents to sign on Facebook called, "Stop Negley Ohio Dump." That petition is seeking the permanent closure of the facility.
They have been posting videos and pictures to a Facebook site called "You Wish You Weren't From Negley." That's so people can see and judge for themselves whether the landfill has been a good neighbor or not. They also say it helps hold public officials accountable for either looking the other way or not helping residents who are forced to live with the awful conditions.
21 News reached out to the owners of Noble Environmental Incorporated for a comment, but we have not heard back from them.
The notices for violations from the EPA found the company failed to place enough weekly cover material over construction and demolition debris, which can create a fire hazard. It also found the company was not managing or controlling dust being generated from daily operations at the site. It also found the PennOhio C&DD landfill had an issue with not removing all solid waste from the construction and demolition debris, that there were no pickers inspecting the picking solid waste from the unloading zone. OEPA observed items such as children's toys, fabrics, mattresses, cushions co-mingled with the C&DD. They also noted a pungent garbage odor.
The OEPA says PennOhio is working with the agency to correct the violations.