FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT – LST
SEPTEMBER 12, 2023
PA DEP FINDS BETHLEHEM LANDFILL IN VIOLATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS FOR FAILING TO CONTROL ODORS AND FAILURE TO IMPLEMENT ITS NUISANCE CONTROL PLAN
According to a report issued by the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection obtained by Citizens for Responsible Development – LST, the Department found outstanding and uncorrected violations of basic environmental standards committed by the Bethlehem Landfill in Lower Saucon Township.
During a landfill inspection conducted on August 21, 2023, the DEP found that the landfill violated the law and its permit by failing to conduct its operations in accordance with approved plans, and failing to perform regular, frequent, and comprehensive site inspections to reduce potential for offsite odors. It also found that the landfill failed to implement its nuisance minimization and control plan to “minimize and control other conditions harmful to the environment or public health, or which create safety hazards, odors, dirt, noise, unsightliness and other public nuisances.”
The inspection report notes that strong odors were repeatedly detected since August 15, following a rain event that caused wash out of gas lines in the southeast area of the landfill. The report also notes that repeated odor complaints were received by the landfill since the prior inspection in July.
The report also states: “BLC failed to perform daily odor patrols, daily runoff inspections, daily dust inspections, daily mud inspections, daily noise observations, daily perimeter checks for the gas collection system, daily litter fence inspections, weekly cover inspections, weekly leachate seep inspections, weekly cover inspections for vectors, weekly litter patrol inspections and random and routine inspections for traffic including traffic flow and route compliance in violation of 25 PA Code§ 273.218(b)(1 )(2)(3)(c) and their Northern Realignment permit modification.”
Even worse, the report notes that despite a violation notice issued on 4/29/2020 — more than three years ago — Bethlehem Landfill still has not corrected violations of the requirement to timely place final cover over the waste that meets environmental performance and design requirement. This final cover is required to be placed over landfill waste to prevent odors, blowing litter and other nuisances, control fires, and ensure slope stability. (25 Pa. Code 273.234)
“These violations are unacceptable and damage the quality of life in Lower Saucon Township. These types of violations will recur for decades to come if our Lower Saucon Township Council majority continues to allow Bethlehem Landfill to expand. Despite frequent inspections and heightened scrutiny, Bethlehem Landfill still can’t follow their own rules. Bethlehem Landfill is no trusted neighbor and will continue to destroy our township if allowed to expand. Citizens for Responsible Development-LST will continue fighting to protect our community when the council majority ignores reality and turns their back on the township.” stated Victoria Opthof-Cordaro
The DEP inspection report is available at the website of Citizens for Responsible Development – LST at www.LSTLandfillExpansion.org.
Questions concerning this press release can be directed to Victoria Opthof-Cordaro at
610-554-7500 or at email@example.com.